Cartes de Visite

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Cartes de visite are small, commonly albumen, prints average size 2.5” x 4” usually mounted onto cardstock. Cartes de visite became wildly popular in the late 1850s and continued to be made for decades after. Although originated in the Europe, cartes de visites became prevalent in several countries around the world. “The format was an international standard; for the first time, relatives and friends could exchange portraits, knowing they would find a place in the recipient's family album--whether that album was located in Brooklyn, Berlin or Brazil.” One of the many reasons why cartes de visite became wildly popular in such short time, is that unlike earlier photography processes, such as the daguerreotype and ambrotype, which not only cost greatly more to produce but both also required added protection in order to be sent via mailing system. Since cartes de visite were paper prints, they could easily be sent through the mail without the need for a bulky case and fragile cover-glass. The use of the albumen process and the ability of having eight different images made on one sheet of photographic paper made cartes de visites relatively inexpensive. Because of its relatively low costs, cartes de visite was one of the first processes that made photography really accessible to the vast majority of people. They also had a large influence in ways people look at photographic images, for example evidence of early fashion photography can be seen through out cartes de visite history. Cartes de visite also allowed erotic images, or pornography, to become easily accessible and widespread. Although typical cartes de visite cease to be made today, their influences both socially and photographically, still lives on today in such traditions as ... ... middle of paper ... ...tography.” 2004. (accessed Nov. 11, 2010). Hannavy, John. Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Photography. London [u.a.: Routledge, 2008. Marien, Mary Warner. Photography: a Cultural History. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2011. Ovenden, Graham, and Peter Mendes. Victorian Erotic Photography. New York: St. Martin's, 1973. Painter, Nell I. Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol. Ed. Nell I. Painter. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1997. Post, Emily. Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics, and At Home. Chapter 10: Cards and Visits. N.p.: Jungle Books, 2007. Wichard, Robin. Victorian Cartes-de-Visite. Great Britian: Shire, 1999. Younger, Dan. Cartes-de-visite: Precedents and social influences. CMP Bulletin. Vol. 6, 4. Riverside, CA: California Museum of Photography, 1987.

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