Camera Obscura Image of Manhattan View Looking West in Empty Room

Media - 1998.159 - SAAM-1998.159_1 - 13362
Copied Abelardo Morell, Camera Obscura Image of Manhattan View Looking West in Empty Room, 1996, gelatin silver print, image: 29 1239 12 in. (74.9100.3 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Consolidated Natural Gas Company Foundation, 1998.159, © 1996, Abelardo Morell

Artwork Details

Title
Camera Obscura Image of Manhattan View Looking West in Empty Room
Date
1996
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
image: 29 1239 12 in. (74.9100.3 cm.)
Markings
mount verso lower center on label in felt-tiped pen and ink: CAMER OBSCURA IMAGE OF/MANHATTAN VIEW LOOKING/WEST IN EMPTY ROOM, 1996/ABELARDO MORELL
Copyright
© 1996, Abelardo Morell
Credit Line
Gift of the Consolidated Natural Gas Company Foundation
Mediums Description
gelatin silver print
Classifications
Keywords
  • Landscape
  • Cityscape — New York — Manhattan
  • Architecture Interior
  • Object — tool — ladder
Object Number
1998.159

Artwork Description

To produce this image of New York City, Morell created a camera obscura. He covered the windows of a room with dark plastic and cut a small hole as an aperture. As light entered the space, it projected a reverse image of the outdoors on the opposite wall, which Morell then photographed. This disorienting inside/outside scene can evoke dreams, fragmented memories, or the feeling of being between two cultures at once.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art, 2013

Description in Spanish

Para crear esta imagen de la ciudad de Nueva York, Morell creó una cámara obscura. Cubrió las ventanas de una habitación con plástico negro y cortó un orificio pequeño para hacer una abertura. Cuando la luz entró en el espacio, proyectó una imagen invertida del exterior en la pared opuesta, que Morell entonces fotografió. Esta desconcertante escena interior/​exterior es capaz de evocar sueños, recuerdos fragmentados, o la sensación de encontrarse entre dos culturas al mismo tiempo.

Nuestra América: la presencia latina en el arte estadounidense, 2013

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Related Books

OurAmerica_500.jpg
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art explores how Latino artists shaped the artistic movements of their day and recalibrated key themes in American art and culture. This beautifully illustrated volume presents the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-twentieth century, when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge. Our America includes works by artists who participated in all the various artistic styles and movements, including abstract expressionism; activist, conceptual, and performance art; and classic American genres such as landscape, portraiture, and scenes of everyday life. 

Exhibitions

Media - 2011.12 - SAAM-2011.12_1 - 77591
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art
October 24, 2013March 2, 2014
Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art presents the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-twentieth century, when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge.