The J. Paul Getty Museum

Moon Crater

Object Details

Title:

Moon Crater

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

British

Date:

late 1850s

Medium:

Salted paper print from a collodion negative

Object Number:

84.XP.259.16

Dimensions:

13 × 16.5 cm (5 1/8 × 6 1/2 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

Although this photograph appears to show the dimpled surface of a distant moon crater, it actually represents a papier-mâché or clay model, as it was technically impossible to take close-up views of the lunar surface in the 1850s. On the right side of the sheet, this crater-recognizable because of its distinctive features-is carefully labeled "Copernicus," after the great Polish voyager and scientist of the 1500s. On the upper left, a scale shows the size of the crater in miles.

The image, which once belonged to the distinguished astronomer John Herschel, reflected the new concern of scientists in the 1800s with detailed observation of this visible but unreachable place.

Provenance
Provenance
- 1984

Bruno Bischofberger, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen (November 13, 2001 to February 3, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 13, 2001 to February 3, 2002