Art Crush: The Earliest Color Photographs

Taken by Mervyn O’Gorman of his daughter Christina using the autochrome process in 1913, these photographs capture the early work of color photography. Autochrome is an additive color process using plates coated with dyed potato starch grains. This process was patented by the Lumiere brothers in 1904 and made commercially available from 1907 to 1940. The photographs produced carry this ethereal quality. They feel almost part painting and part dream, pulled from deep inside someones memories. Even today starring at these pictures the colors feel like a gift, almost out of place, and magical. Because of the process and use of grains the images carry with them a pointillist quality, as if they were created from a million specs of color.

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