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Index of Images & Audio

(N.B. The "Actual image size" versions assume they are being displayed on a monitor at 72 pixels per inch.


Seneca Falls, New York (upstream), about 1855, half plate - Unidentified Artist The St. Anthony Falls, n.d., half plate - Unidentified Artist Seneca Falls, New York (downstream), about 1855, half plate - Unidentified Artist
 Woman at a Mirror, 1856, half plate - Alexander Hesler Young Girl with Hands on Chair, n.d., whole plate - Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes Mother and Son, n.d., half plate - Unidentified Artist Boy Leaning Against Bookcase, ca. 1850, sixth plate - Unidentified Artist
The Staff of the Express, n.d., quarter plate - Unidentified Artist Editor, n.d., quarter plate - Unidentified Artist Woman and Child, n.d., sixth plate - Jeremiah Gurney Still Life with Pumpkin, Book, and Sweet Potato, n.d., ninth plate - Unidentified Artist


This audio is a collection of excerpts from a talk Merry Foresta, co-coordinator of the "Secrets" exhibition, gave to docents of the National Museum of American Art to prepare them for visitors to the exhibit.

All of the audio provided at this site is encoded in a program called Audio. Download a copy of the Audio player at this location.

Secrets of the Dark Chamber (0:39)
What is the 'Dark Chamber' and the 'secret' it possesses?

America searches (0:49)
When daguerreotypes appeared in America, the country was experiencing its own kind of revolution and growth. Learn why America was ready for this new technology.

Morse meets Daguerre (1:19)
While in Paris in 1838 to secure a French patent for the telegraph, Samuel Morse heard about Daguerre and his wonderful pictures. Listen to how he brought the technology of the daguerreotype to America.

Daguerreotypes (1:08)
are posed images. And because so many of their makers are unknown, and their subjects cannot be identified, we become reliant on the autonomy of the image itself. Portraits such as Woman Writing Letters are signals of some larger meaning: a lover's secret message, a public announcement, the description of thought. They embody the subject of communication itself, which survives the lost context of the making of these images.

Two types of daguerreotypists (1:36)
Photographers took different approaches to this new art. Find out how environment helped to shape both the content and commerce of daguerreotypes.

Finding its face (1:07)
Learn about the transitions of a country and this new art form.

Daguerreotypes help to forge (1:19)
Find out how daguerreotypes went alongside pioneers as they forged westward.

Occupationals (0:28)
Listen in as Merry describes what makes an "occupational."

Daguerreotypes created opportunity (1:38)
Daguerreotypes strongly influenced business. Even a town was named after them!

Past, present, and future (1:12)
Science and art often intersect with milestones of invention. Hear how the Internet connects with the daguerreotype.

The exhibition's design (0:51)
Exposing these sensitive and fragile objects caused great concern to the curatorial team. Learn how they utilized a ground-breaking design using fiber optics to bring this show to light

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