Monthly Archives: August 2009

Cyanotypes

FileAnna Atkins algae cyanotype

In conjunction with the special exhibition: Photography, The First 1oo Years, on Saturdays in September, visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to participate in a (free!) drop-in workshop called Photograms: Cyanotype.

A photogram is a photographic  image made without a camera.  It is made by placing objects directly onto the surface of a photo-sensitive material such as photographic paper and then exposing it to light.  The areas of the paper that have received no light appear white, those exposed through transparent or semi-transparent objects appear in a medium tone, and areas that receive full light become dark.

Cyanotype is a blueprint process which provides permanent images in a beautiful range of cyan blue values.  The process is thought to have been discovered by John Herschel in 1842 and first used in a photographic way by Anna Atkins who is regarded as the first female photographer and who made the image above.

Visit us in the Student Lunchroom from 12-4pm on any Saturday in September and make your own!  If you find that you enjoy the process and results, there are many great resources for materials on the web.  One that we have used is http://www.blueprintsonfabric.com.  This store is an excellent resource for pre-treated cyanotype fabric and paper.

Second Saturdays on the Riverfront

Head down to Rivard Plaza on the river (1340 E. Atwater Street in Detroit; click here for a map) to visit us on the 2nd Saturday of each summer month through September.  The DIA has partnered with the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for this fabulous once-a-month event.  Click here for more information about the program from the Conservancy’s website. 

We’ll be there this Saturday (8/8) from 11am – 1pm with a free drop-in workshop for all ages.  We’ll provide all the materials you need to make your own kalimba instrument (a type of African thumb piano) to take home.  Come join us!

kalimbas