On loan to The Met The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.


John William Draper American

Not on view

Draper, a physician and professor of chemistry at New York University, was the first to produce a successful daguerreotype of the moon. On March 16, 1840, he wrote in his laboratory notebook, "This evening I exposed a prepared plate to the moonbeams which had been conveyed by a double convex lens." In this plate, a halo-like vignette encircles the image of the moon, creating a crescent shape that evokes the lunar phases. Despite his accomplishment, Draper’s efforts received only modest recognition from his contemporaries; until recently his lunar daguerreotypes were believed to be lost.

Moon, John William Draper (American (born England), St. Helens 1811–1882 Hastings-on-Hudson), 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.