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 Baldwin Coolidge [Boston, Massachusetts]: Untitled. Albumen print cabinet card (image size: 4" x 5-1/4"), circa 1890


The cabinet card format dates back to 1868, and was used primarily for portraits. The "shock of the new" implicit in this proto-modernist work is only increased by presenting the image as a decidedly old-fashioned albumen print on a cabinet card mount. At first glance, it appears to be some sort of mistake, a chronological impossibility. Yet, here it is--an austere study of wires and rooftops and shapes and angles--a photograph that seems decades ahead of its time.


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