A Sesquicentennial CelebrationGAMBIER, Ohio (October 20, 2006) Students in Assistant Professor of Art Marcella Hackbardt's Photography of Invention class are learning something new: the 150-year-old art of making tintypes. The early photographic process was patented by a Kenyon professor, Hamilton L. Smith, and his student, Peter Neff, Jr., in 1856.
In celebration of the sesquicentennial of their invention, France Scully, an expert tintypist from the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York, will be a Mesaros Visiting Artist at Kenyon. The Mesaros Art Fund supports artists in residency, guest lectures, visiting artists and teachers, and special exhibitions to enhance the College's art program.
Scully will lead tintype-making workshops with Hackbardt and her students on Wednesday and Thursday, October 25-26. She will also present a public lecture, with slides of her work, on Tuesday, October 24, in Olin Auditorium.
The Photography of Invention students will curate an exhibition of historic tintypes in the Kenyon collection, as well as their own contemporary tintypes and ambrotypes, to be displayed in Olin Library's Special Collections Room. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Monday, November 13, at 7:00 p.m.
The tintype, also called the ferrotype, is a photographic process in which the image is reproduced on a thin piece of enameled black iron. The tintype replaced the ambrotype, made with glass negatives, which had in turn supplanted the earlier daguerreotype. Cheap and durable, the tintype was the most popular form of photography until the introduction of film-based processes and the reloadable camera, which made amateur photography accessible to the masses.
Even though the process is rarely used now, the word remains in the lexicon, in the exclamation, "Not on your tintype!"