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The Kodak camera was introduced in 1888 and quickly captured the imagination of the public, amateur photographers, and artists. Thousands of photographs, only recently discovered in the attics and archives of artists working in the 1890s, reveal their fascination with this new tool. While some snapshots relate closely to their painted work, others indicate an exploration far beyond the artists' known work in oil on canvas and expand our understanding of their oeuvre.
In the late nineteenth century, artistic visionaries saw the drawn and printed line as a signpost of modernity. Long overshadowed by oil paintings, prints and drawings created from the 1860s to the 1890s have a different story to tell, one of artistic spontaneity and experimentation. This talk, presented by one of the co-curators of the special exhibition, will consider the hallmarks of the "Impressionist line" by looking at works from the show, including watercolors by Honoré Daumier and Berthe Morisot, drawings by Claude Monet, mysterious color woodcuts by Paul Gauguin, improvisatory etchings by Édouard Manet, pastels by Jean-François Millet and Camille Pissarro, and luminous color lithographs by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.