About the Photographer

Jerry Spagnoli

Jerry Spagnoli is best known for his work with the daguerreotype process, a complex photographic technique invented in 1839 that produces images on highly polished, silver clad copper plates. A photographer since the mid-1970s, Spagnoli initiated his exploration of the daguerreotype in San Francisco in 1994. He experimented with nineteenth-century materials and studied the effects achieved by early practitioners in order to understand the technical aspects of the process, as well as its expressive and visual potential as a medium.

Spagnoli began work in 1995 on an ongoing series entitled “The Last Great Daguerreian Survey of the 20th Century.” The project features views of the metropolis as well as images of historically significant events including the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11, the vigil following the disappearance of John F. Kennedy, Jr., and Times Square at midnight on the eve of the new millennium.

Considered the leading expert in the revitalization of the daguerreotype process, Spagnoli is also noted for his collaboration with artist Chuck Close on daguerreotype portraits and nudes. Spagnoli’s work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the National Portrait Gallery, the Whitney Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

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