Friday, December 11, 2009

Images in Glass

The Southeastern Architectural Archive retains several collections that contain fragile glass media: glass transparencies, glass lantern slides, and glass negatives. These range chronologically from the mid-nineteeenth to the mid-twentieth century and in scale from 2 1/4" x 3 1/4" to 11 x 14".

The item reproduced above formerly resided in the Tulane School of Architecture's Slide Library, part of a large collection of glass lantern slides that were used by faculty for teaching purposes. Photographer/musician Guy F. Bernard (1906-1982) took the photograph of the E. Lacroix Tomb Gate in St. Lous Cemetery No. III. The gate's ornamental cast iron with weeping willow, lambs and doves once evidenced the white polychromy shown here.

New Orleans modernist architect Albert C. Ledner took the second image while visiting Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin in 1948. What you see above is a digital reproduction of a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 color transparency sandwiched into a Jiffy Mount. The New York city-based Diamant Products Company trademarked the Jiffy Mount, envisioning it as a means of preserving color transparencies and negatives indefinitely.

This last digital reproduction has been taken from an 8 x 10" glass plate negative by photographer George Francois Mugnier (1855-1936) and depicts a Bird's Eye View of the New Orleans levee. Its source is a gelatin dry plate negative, a process that was invented in 1871 by Richard Leach Maddox. The gelatin dry plates were commercially produced and became quite popular by 1880, only to be superceded by gelatin silver paper negatives and gelatin silver celluloid negatives in the 1920s.

First Image: Guy F. Bernard, photographer. Cast Iron Gate, undated lantern slide. Tulane School of Architecture Lantern Slides Collection.

Second Image: Albert C. Ledner, photographer. Taliesin Entrance, Spring Green, Wisconsin, 1948. Albert C. Ledner Office Records Collection.

Third Image: George Francois Mugnier, photographer. Bird's Eye View of the Levee. undated gelatin dry plate negative.

All three items reside in the Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.
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Anonymous said...

The Ledner photo of Taliesin is flipped from its correct orientation. That is, the birch trees are on the right, rather than the left.

(Mary) Keiran Murphy
Historic Research
Taliesin Preservation, Inc.
Spring Green, WI

Keli Rylance said...

Thank you for the correction!

Anonymous said...

Cool - glad I could help.

Keiran Murphy
Historic Research
Taliesin Preservation, Inc.
Spring Green, WI