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Specimen #18

David Lebe, American, born 1948

Photograph taken in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America


Gelatin silver print, hand-colored

Image and sheet: 19 3/4 × 15 3/4 inches (50.2 × 40 cm)

© David Lebe

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Adam Kaufman, 1981

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This hand-colored photogram exemplifies Lebe's integration of early photographic technologies into his modern practice. Photograms, popular during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are created without a camera: objects are placed on top of a light-sensitive surface that is then exposed to light. Like the photogram, the delicate process of hand-coloring black-and-white photographs was prevalent during the nineteenth century, when color film technology was not yet available. Lebe regularly hand-colored images of traditional subject matter such as plant life, but also incorporated the technique into his progressive, sexually themed photographs.