Cleveland Art Update: "Proof" Art Exhibit

February 11, 2020

In the age of the phone camera, it’s hard to imagine a time when fully formed photographs could be taken and displayed in less than a second. But during the 20th century, photographs had to be manually developed. One common method to develop photos was by using contact sheets, also called proof sheets. Many people recognize contact sheets as a retro roll of film with black borders and small images. These images provided photographers with the chance to see all the photos before deciding upon which to develop. The contact sheet was usually reserved for the use of the photographer, meaning the public rarely saw them. Now, decades later, you can. The Cleveland Museum of Art will soon debut a new exhibit: “Proof: Photography in the Era of the Contact Sheet”. About 180 contact sheets will be displayed starting on February 7. The exhibit offers a closer look at the mind and process of a photographer during the age of contact sheets, with subjects including famed actress Marilyn Monroe, and photographer such as Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, and Irving Penn. This exhibit is free and open to the public.


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