Frederick Langenheim Looking at Talbotypes

Photography Studio W. & F. Langenheim American
William Langenheim American, born Germany
Frederick Langenheim American, born Germany

Not on view

In 1849 the Langenheim brothers bought the United States patent for making photographs from paper negatives from William Henry Fox Talbot, the medium's inventor. The Langenheims also continued to produce daguerreotypes, such as this brilliant composition in which Frederick examines a group of Talbotype portraits-including his own-that may themselves be copies of daguerreotypes. In other words, this image presents three distinct subjects: Frederick Langenheim, photography itself, and the very process of reproduction. Using the nonreproducible daguerreotype process to make a picture about reproduction may seem paradoxical, but the incomparable detail seen here, from the visible writing on the mounts of the paper prints to the finely woven pattern in Frederick's silk vest, would have been impossible to capture with a paper negative.

#5501. Frederick Langenheim Looking at Talbotypes

Frederick Langenheim Looking at Talbotypes, W. & F. Langenheim (American, active 1843–1874), Daguerreotype

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.