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Thursday, December 23, 2010


Catalogue of wonderful cyanotypes of India and Germany released

ROBERT A. SCHAEFER, JR. photographer
Zig-Zag wall of Roof Garden, New Delhi (2009)

I was honored to receive a copy of the catalogue of an exhibition of photographs that was held at the Goethe Institute in New Delhi late last month, following a show at the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh.

The artist is our good friend Robert Schaefer, who lives in Manhattan, but travels frequently to Germany and India.  Quite apart from its visual brilliance, his photography has historic significance.

The cyanotype process was invented in England in 1842 by Sir John Herschel, as an improvement on its predecessor, the daguerrotype.  The medium, which may be cloth as well as paper, is coated with light sensitive chemicals.  The negative is placed on top of the paper, then a sheet of glass to weight it down, and then placed in a source of ultraviolet light, usually the sun.  The result is the beautiful shade of monochromatic blue that you see in the illustration above.

You've seen it many times before -- it was the process used for architectural blueprints.

For a copy of the catalogue, contact the Goethe Institute, New Delhi.

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