View of Pisa, Italy, about 1845, Unknown maker, daguerreotype, 3/4 plate or cut-down whole plate. The J. Paul Getty Museum

In Focus: Daguerreotypes


West Pavilion, Lower Level

A "mirror with a memory," a daguerreotype is a direct-positive photographic image fixed on a silver-coated metal plate. The earliest form of photography, this revolutionary invention was announced to the public in 1839. In our present image-saturated age, it is difficult to imagine a time before the ability to record the world with the blink of an eye or the touch of a fingertip. This exhibition, drawn from the Getty Museum’s permanent collection alongside loans from two private collections, presents unique reflections of people, places, and events during the first two decades of the medium.

Learn more

Need help?

Contact us!

9 am–5 pm,
7 days a week

(310) 440-7300