Tools with Blueprint

Object Details


Tools with Blueprint


Paul Outerbridge (American, 1896 - 1958)






Carbro print


41.5 × 31 cm (16 5/16 × 12 3/16 in.)


Paul Outerbridge, Jr. © 2008 G. Ray Hawkins Gallery, Beverly Hills, California

Credit Line:

Gift of Susan and G. Ray Hawkins

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Paul Outerbridge actually used a picture of a picture in this composition that includes a house under construction, tools, and a blueprint. Partly framed by two-by-fours, the picture of the home on the left creates the illusion of a window opening onto a pleasant suburban neighborhood. The vertical and horizontal two-by-fours convey a sense of strength, suggesting the solid security of a well built home. He probably made this image as an advertisement for a construction company.

In the 1930s, the most practical way to create quality color photographs like this was by employing the carbro color process. This method is extremely labor intensive, requiring patience and precision. Outerbridge consistently and expertly employed this technique. As a result, the colors in his photographs are as descriptive today as they were sixty years ago.

Tradition and Innovation: Recent Additions to the Photographs Collection (June 20 to October 8, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 20 to October 8, 2000
Paul Outerbridge: Command Performance (March 31 to August 9, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 31 to August 9, 2009
In Focus: Still Life (September 7, 2010 to January 23, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 7, 2010 to January 23, 2011