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May 1, 1999


The advent of the photographic portrait satisfied a cultural desire for immortality. To further the goal, hand coloring of the images transformed the bland monochrome of the untouched likeness into documents seemingly true to life. This exhibition of 50 framed works from the collection of Stanley and Sara Burns ranges from the daguerreotype to the modern silver print. It recalls the practice of developing artifacts that lie somewhere between a photographic reality and the realm of the imagination.

Documenting the popular demand for photographs in color, this exhibition also illustrates the cultural development of an accessible portraiture that harbored an illusion or statement somewhat akin to that of painting.

In 1992, a more modest exhibition of hand-painted portraits from the same collection entitled Forgotten Marriage: The Painted Tintype and the Decorative Frame: A Lost Chapter in American Portraiture, 1860-1910 fostered an illustrated publication of the same title (Burns Press) which is currently available for purchase in the Gallery.

This presentation of Color Before Color is supported in part by a program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Located on the first floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library, the Gallery is open Monday through Friday, noon - 4:30 p.m., on Thursdays until 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from 1-5 p.m. Admission is free and public parking is available.

For more information about the Gallery, please call 410-455-2270 or visit the UMBC homepage at

Posted by dwinds1 at May 1, 1999 12:00 AM