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Between and Mortarboard

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Smile For Your Lover Comes (Stone Ridge, New York)

Accession Number

Smile For Your Lover Comes (Stone Ridge, New York)

John Dugdale

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
cyanotype on paper

15 1/4 in x 13 5/16 in x 2 1/4 in (38.74 cm x 33.81 cm x 5.72 cm);15 1/4 in x 13 5/16 in x 2 1/4 in (38.74 cm x 33.81 cm x 5.72 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase made possible by the Harry Denham Trust

Label copy
March 28, 2009
My photographic vision is clearer now than when I could see.
—John Dugdale
John Dugdale lost all but a small portion of his peripheral vision due to complications from AIDS. Previously a successful commercial photographer, he now shoots mostly around his home in upstate New York with a large format camera from 1912. Using sunlight, Dugdale contact-prints the 8 x 10 negatives onto photosensitive paper coated in a solution of iron—the source of the ethereal blue that lends an aura of time fleeting and eternal. The large-scale process enables him to communicate his unique vision. “I’m not flooded with images,” he says. “I think it leaves me with a clearer slate to imagine my pictures on…They start as a thought instead of something that I see.” The frame is his design as well.

Subject matter
Partially blinded after two AIDS-related strokes in 1993, Dugdale turned from a career in commercial photography to fine art photography. He uses antique photographic techniques such as cyanotype, platinum, and albumen processes to print the negatives he makes with a large format camera from 1912. To set up his photographs, he relies mostly on touch, imagining his images before he creates them. 

Physical Description
A photograph depicting a man sitting nude on a porch rail with his back turned toward the camera. Bright light filters through leaves on a nearby tree.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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New York
flora (plants)
grape vines
men (male humans)
nudes (representations)

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& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved

On display