From Darkroom to Digital: Photographic Variations



Although photographs are inherently reproducible, photographers have long maintained that the final print is unique. Ansel Adams likened the negative to a musical score, and the print to its orchestrated performance. Pictorialist photographers at the turn of the century labored over their hand-crafted images, making each resulting object as unrepeatable as a painting. Selections of cropping, enlargement and scale, and different photographic processes also contribute to remarkable diverse effects, even from the very same negative. Now, with improvements in digital technology, artists who once used darkrooms have the opportunity to revisit older images and transform them into something entirely new. This show of more than 40 objects from the permanent collection features variants and alternative prints by Ansel Adams, Tom Arndt, Chuck Close, Patty Carroll, Frank Eugene, Gertrude Kasebier, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, and others. From Darkroom to Digital will challenge and delight the eyes of photographic educators, students, and connoisseurs.

From Darkroom to Digital is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago.

Elizabeth Siegel, assistant curator, Department of Photography


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions