About This Artwork

Nathan W. Pease
American, 1936–1918

Full Moon, mid–19th century

Albumen print, stereo
7.6 x 15.5 cm (image); 8.6 x 17.5 cm (card)

Gift of Robert Jesmer, 1980.233

Stereographs were made by taking two photographs of the same scene with lenses about two and a half inches apart to match the distance between human eyes; viewed through a stereoscope, the images combine to give the illusion of depth. Enormously popular from around 1850 to 1930, stereographs documented disasters, expeditions, monuments, and exotic locations by the millions. Nathan Pease, based in New Hampshire, was one of many photographers who ran a brisk trade in stereographic landscapes for tourists and armchair travelers. This stereo image of a full moon was made in an unusual way: because of the distance to the subject, the two standard lenses on a stereographic camera would not be able to render a binocular effect. Instead, the photographer made two images at different times, so that the moon would be in a different orbital location.

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