Front / Recto

  • Title Untitled
  • Negative Date 1923–24
  • Print Date 1923–35
  • Medium Gelatin silver print
  • Dimensions Image 8 5/8 × 11 5/16" (21.9 × 28.8 cm)
  • Place Taken Kolín
  • Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Shirley C. Burden, by exchange
  • MoMA Accession Number 1673.2001
  • Copyright © 2015 Miloslava Rupešová
  • Description

    This image of very thick folded paper—perhaps blotter paper or packing material from the artist’s studio—was carefully lit in a controlled setting. The negative was so fastidiously cleaned of stray dust and debris before printing that there are only a few spots of corrective Retouching on the print. The photographic paper is the second thickest in the Thomas Walther Collection, at 0.5888 millimeters, but it is a type well represented in Jaromír Funke’s work. Composed of a single layer of a complex fiber mix (including rag, grass, softwood, and hardwood), it was likely manufactured around 1925. More striking is the lack of a Baryta layer. Baryta-less gelatin silver prints have a similar texture to Platinum and Palladium prints made on plain, uncoated paper, and they often have similar warm tones. Baryta-Less Paper may originally have been produced for document copying—without a brittle baryta layer the paper was more suitable for folding and mailing—but manufacturers eventually exploited the aesthetic qualities of the papers as well.

    —Lee Ann Daffner

Back / Verso

  • Mount Type No mount - evidence previous mounting
  • Marks and Inscriptions Inscribed in pencil on sheet verso, top left: 21 [circled]. Inscribed in pencil on sheet verso, top center: .
  • Provenance The artist, Prague; by inheritance to the artist’s wife, Anna Funkova, Prague, 1945 [1]; to Wilhelm Schürmann, Cologne, 1975–77 [2]; purchased by Thomas Walther; purchased by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2001.
    [1] Wilhelm Schürmann, telephone conversation with Simon Bieling, April 1, 2005.
    [2] MacGill/Walther 2000, p. 11; and Schürmann, telephone conversation with Bieling.


  • Surface Sheen Matte
  • Techniques Retouching (additive)
    Retouching (reductive)
  • PTM
    View of the recto of the artwork made using reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) software, which exaggerates subtle surface details and renders the features of the artwork plainly visible. Department of Conservation, MoMA
  • Micro-raking
    Raking-light close-up image, as shot. Area of detail is 6.7 x 6.7 mm. Department of Conservation, MoMA
    Raking-light close-up image, processed. Processing included removal of color, equalization of the histogram, and sharpening, all designed to enhance visual comparison. Department of Conservation, MoMA

Paper Material

  • Format Metric
  • Weight Heavy weight
  • Thickness (mm) 0.59
  • UV Fluorescence Recto negative
    Verso negative
  • Fiber Analysis Softwood bleached sulfite 64%
    Hardwood bleached sulfite 10%
    Softwood bleached kraft/soda 2%
    Rag 2%
    Bast 1%
    Grass 21%
  • Material Techniques Developing-out paper
    Baryta-less paper
  • XRF

    This work was determined to be a gelatin silver print via X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry.

    The following elements have been positively identified in the work, through XRF readings taken from its recto and verso (or from the mount, where the verso was not accessible):

    • Recto: Al, Si, S, Ca, Cr, Fe, Zn, Sr, Ag, Ba, Pb
    • Verso: Al, Si, S, K, Ca, Fe, Zn, Sr, Ba, Pb

    The graphs below show XRF spectra for three areas on the print: two of the recto—from areas of maximum and minimum image density (Dmax and Dmin)—and one of the verso or mount. The background spectrum represents the contribution of the XRF instrument itself. The first graph shows elements identified through the presence of their characteristic peaks in the lower energy range (0 to 8 keV). The second graph shows elements identified through the presence of their characteristic peaks in the higher energy range (8 to 40 keV).

    Areas examined: Recto (Dmax: black; Dmin: green), Verso or Mount (blue), Background (red)
    Elements identified: Al, Si, S, K, Ca, Cr, Ag, Ba
    Areas examined: Recto (Dmax: black; Dmin: green), Verso or Mount (blue), Background (red)
    Elements identified: Fe, Zn, Sr, Ag, Pb

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