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Photography: A Hands-on History of Cyanotypes

Studio Arts Workshop

Friday, October 11, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Code: 1K00RY

By Patricia Howard

Delve into the fascinating history of photography as an art form. In this unique program that combines lecture with a hands-on project, art historian and photographer Patricia Howard presents an overview of a particular moment in photography’s development and then helps students create their own individual artwork utilizing the techniques and processes of that time.

In this session, participants explore the world of cyanotypes, a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue and white print. Engineers used the technique well into the 20th century as a simple and low-cost way to produce copies of drawings, referred to as blueprints.

Introduced in England by the scientist Sir John Herschel, they were also used by one of the first woman photographer-scientists, Anna Atkins. Today, cyanotypes are increasingly found in the contemporary art world. In the hands-on portion of the program, participants create their own cyanotypes in the Ripley Center darkroom.

The class is appropriate both for photographers of all experience levels as well as non-photographers interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the form’s technical and artistic evolution.

One 4-hour session

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.

Other Connections

Learn more about the cyanotype’s origins as a photographic technique.

S. Dillon Ripley Center
Photolab 3036
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)