Camera Obscura, Physionotrace, and the Silhouette

Tuesday, July 18, 2017Friday, July 21, 2017
All day
, George Eastman Museum
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Tuition: $700 / $600 members, $80 materials fee

This four-day course is the only public workshop in the world that teaches how to use a box camera obscura, a tent camera obscura, a camera lucida, a pantograph, and a physionotrace to produce landscape pencil drawings and cut silhouettes. All of these pre-photographic drawing techniques are based on the manipulation of light, and they helped to reinforce the concepts that eventually led to the invention of photography.

In this fun and informative, hands-on workshop participants are guided by the faculty to make their own eighteenth-century-style book board and paper camera obscuras to use during the workshop and to take home. Folios are also provided to protect the pencil drawings.

Participants will draw silhouettes from life by candlelight and reduce them using a pantograph, and will also use the physionotrace for life tracing and reduction. Using Thomas Wedgwood’s printing technique of 1798, participants will make silver nitrate photograms from the portrait silhouettes—providing the evolutionary link from light-based drawing to the dawn of photography.
This rare workshop was last offered five years ago. It is expected to sell out, so register today!

Audience: Limited to 8, this four-day program is for those interested in drawing, painting, art history, and the evolution of photography. No previous drawing skills are required.

Cancellation Policy: Withdrawal from the workshop 30 days before the session start date will receive a refund minus a $100 processing fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations made less than 30 days before a workshop start date. If the workshop is canceled due to insufficient enrollment, the entire class will be fully refunded. The George Eastman Museum is not responsible for airline ticket cancellation costs or fees.

Location and Scheduling: Daily sessions begin at 9 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. The workshop is held at the George Eastman Museum, 900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY. Directions can be found here.

Lodging: Lodging is not included in the cost of the workshop; participants must make their own arrangements. The host hotel for workshops held at the George Eastman Museum is the East Avenue Inn & Suites, This hotel is about a fifteen-minute walk from the museum. The East Avenue Inn & Suites also provides transportation to and from the airport. Room rates begin at $119 per night. Reservations can be made by calling (800) 559-8039. When calling to make a reservation, please mention you are taking a workshop at the George Eastman Museum to get this special rate.

During the workshop, the museum may take and use images, still or video, for educational and promotional purposes.

Event Details

Tuesday, July 18, 2017Friday, July 21, 2017

All day
George Eastman Museum
$680 members
$780 nonmembers