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Monday, April 03, 2006

Last Chance If You Hurry

Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes
by Paul Butzi
Last fall, I went to Rochester, NY to visit my daughter. The two of us took a little time and visited the George Eastman House, because we wanted to see the exhibit of the daguerreotypes of Southworth and Hawes.

I was prepared to be very interested—I've long been fascinated by the process. But I wasn't really expecting to be completely captivated by the photography. What stole my heart was that in addition to the expected daguerreotype portraits of prominent people, there were landscapes and wonderful photographs of quotidian scenes.

I'm not a big collector, and it's rare that I run across a photograph where I feel a deep desire to own a copy, but there was one little daguerreotype of the rooflines of buildings, and a sky full of clouds. The tonality was incredible, the detail in the clouds breathtaking, and if it had been for sale, I'd have been digging for the high limit credit card to see if I could swing it.

Now, it turns out that although this exhibit is no longer at the Eastman House, so you can't go see it there. But if you’re going to be in New England in the next week, you're in luck, because it's currently at its last stop, which is the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Mass. But it's only there through April 9, so you’ll have to move fast.

If you can possibly arrange to see this exhibit, go do it. You won’t be disappointed.

Posted by PAUL BUTZI


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