Art/ Collection/ Art Object

[Botanical Specimens]

Attributed to Robert Hunt (British, 1807–1887)
ca. 1841
Photogenic drawing negatives on paper and fabric
Sheet: 11 1/8 × 11 5/16 in. (28.2 × 28.8 cm), album page Top Left Image: 4 1/8 × 3 15/16 in. (10.5 × 10 cm), irregularly trimmed Top Right Image: 4 1/2 × 3 11/16 in. (11.4 × 9.4 cm), irregularly trimmed Bottom Left Image: 1 7/8 × 3 3/8 in. (4.8 × 8.6 cm) Bottom Right Image: 2 9/16 × 3 11/16 in. (6.5 × 9.3 cm), irregularly trimmed
Credit Line:
The Rubel Collection, Purchase, Anonymous Gift, 1997
Accession Number:
Not on view
About 1841, at the same time he wrote the first historical account of the two-year-old medium of photography and its much longer prehistory, Hunt experimented with practical uses for photography and applied some variant of Talbot's chemistry to paper, linen, and silk, perhaps seeking a new means of textile decoration. The results look like delicately patterned damask-snippets of coffee- or wine-colored ribbon woven in a floral pattern by the most skilled of artisans.
Inscription: No inscriptions or annotations.
(Christie's, South Kensington, June 27, 1978, lot 226); [Sean Thackrey]; Rubel Collection; [Hans P. Kraus, Jr.]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Inventing a New Art: Early Photographs from the Rubel Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1, 1999–September 19, 1999.

Daniel, Malcolm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin: Inventing a New Art: Early Photographs from the Rubel Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art 56, no. 4 (Spring 1999). p. 8.

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