Today in History: Alois Senefelder born in 1771

Today in History: Alois Senefelder born in 1771

Alois Senefelder (born Nov. 6, 1771, Prague – died Feb. 26, 1834, Munich) is often referred to as the inventor of lithography. Son of an actor at the Theatre Royal in Prague, Senefelder was unable to continue his studies at the University of Ingolstadt after his father’s death and thus tried to support himself as a performer and author, but without success. He learned printing in a printing office, purchased a small press, and sought to do his own printing. Desiring to publish plays that he had written but unable to afford the expensive engraving of printing plates, Senefelder tried to engrave them himself. His work on copper plates was not proving very successful when an accident led to his discovery of the possibilities of stone (1796). Senefelder records that one day he jotted down a laundry list with grease pencil on a piece of Bavarian limestone. It occurred to him that if he etched away the rest of the surface, the markings would be left in relief. Two years of experimentation eventually led to the discovery of flat-surface printing (modern lithography). In 1818 he documented his discovery in Vollständiges Lehrbuch der Steindruckerey (1818; A Complete Course of Lithography). Source: britannica.com.

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Today in History: Man Ray born in 1890

Today in History: Man Ray born in 1890

128 years ago today, the American artist, designer and photographer Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky) was born in Philadelphia. Man Ray was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealism movements. After moving to Paris in 1921, he created some of his most important photographic images which he called “rayographs” (photograms). By the mid-1930s, he had established himself as a successful fashion and portrait photographer. He returned to the United States in 1940 where he created advertisements and designs for the Container Corporation of America under Herbert Bayer. In 1951, Man Ray moved back to France. He published his autobiography “Self Portrait” in 1963. Man Ray passed away in Paris in 1976.

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Today is World Photography Day

Today is World Photography Day

The Daguerreotype and its photographic process developed by Joseph Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre originated in France in 1837.

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Today in History: Madonna born in 1958

Today in History: Madonna born in 1958

Happy Birthday, Madonna. The “Queen of Pop” is turning 60 today.

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Today is National Camera Day !

Today is National Camera Day !

National Camera Day commemorates photographs, the camera, and their invention.

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Today in History: Herbert Matter born in 1907

Today in History: Herbert Matter born in 1907

Happy Birthday, Herbert Matter ! The Swiss-born American photographer and graphic designer would have turned 111 today. Matter studied art in Geneva and Paris and worked in France as a designer and photographer for Deberny and Peignot. In 1932 he returned to Switzerland where he created a remarkable series of photomontage posters for the national tourism office in Zurich, among them his famous poster compositions for Pontresina and “automobile travel” in Switzerland (published in 4 languages, the English version having perhaps the most fitting title). In 1936, Matter settled in New York where he took photographs for Vogue and Harper’s and later worked for the Museum of Modern Art.

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Today in History: John Lennon killed in 1980

Today in History: John Lennon killed in 1980
37 years ago today, the death of English musician, songwriter and front man of the Beatles, John Lennon, sparked worldwide shock and sadness: on December 8, 1980 John Lennon was fatally shot by a deranged fan in front of his apartment complex in New York City. Together with Paul McCartney, John Lennon formed the most successful songwriting partnership in musical history. Lennon left the Beatles in 1969 and later produced albums with his wife, Yoko Ono, among others. After a 5 year break from music, Lennon had just returned to the recording studio in 1980. Tragically, only a few weeks after the release of his new album Double Fantasy, he was shot and killed.

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