Here, in truth, is a discovery launched upon the world, that must make a revolution in art...in what way, in what degree, will art be affected by it?
The New Yorker, April 20, 1839
We have seen the views taken by the Daguerreotype, and have no hesitation in avowing, that they are the most remarkable objects of curiosity and admiration, in the arts, that we have ever beheld. Their exquisite perfection almost transcends the bounds of sober belief.
The Knickerbocker, 1839
Choose from these to start your tour:
- A Brief History of Daguerreotypy
- Meet the Curators
- About the Book
- About the Smithsonian American Art Museum Photography Collection
- About the Charles A. Isaacs Bequest
- Nineteenth-Century Texts
- Book Index
Landscapes Portraits Occupationals
Secrets of the Dark Chamber. (0:39) Audio
What is the 'Dark Chamber' and the 'secret' it possesses?
America searches (0:49) Audio
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.