Monday, September 6, 2010

Paul Sano, Double Portrait of Mrs. Corbet, 1912 -- Autochrome

Calvin: Dad, how come old photographs are always black and white? Didn't they have color film back then?

Dad: Sure they did. In fact, those old photographs are in color. It's just the
world was black and white then.

Calvin: Really?

Dad: Yep. The world didn't turn color until sometime in the 1930s, and it was pretty grainy color for a while, too.

Calvin: That's really weird.

Dad: Well, truth is stranger than fiction.

Calvin: But then why are old paintings in color?! If their world was black and white, wouldn't artists have painted it that way?

Heinrich Kuhn, 1906 (est.) -- Gum print

Dad: Not necessarily. A lot of great artists were insane.

Calvin: But... but how could they have painted in color anyway? Wouldn't their paints have been shades of gray back then?

Dad: Of course, but they turned colors like everything else did in the '30s.

Calvin: So why didn't old black and white photos turn color too?

Dad: Because they were color pictures of black and white, remember?

Paul Sano, Lady and Fruit Dish, 1920 -- Autochrome

A wonderful conversations by the infamous Calvin and his father.

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