Front / Recto

  • Title Untitled
  • Negative Date 1929–32
  • Print Date 1929–39
  • Medium Gelatin silver print
  • Dimensions Image 2 15/16 × 2 1/8" (7.5 × 5.4 cm)
  • Place Taken Budapest
  • Credit Line Thomas Walther Collection. Gift of Thomas Walther
  • MoMA Accession Number 1740.2001
  • Copyright © 2015 Judit Kinszki/ Vintage Gallery, Budapest
  • Description

    This Contact Print tracks the light from a moving streetcar, captured at night with a long exposure. The image was probably made using a medium-format folding camera and 2 ¼ by 3 ¼ inch (5.7 by 8.3 centimeter) negative roll film. It was printed on Agfa Lupex Gaslight Paper. The paper’s very high cotton content indicates that it was manufactured as early as 1925. Like other papers from the mid-1920s to mid-1930s, this one has a high mineral content, loaded into the paper pulp to improve working properties but later abandoned as papermaking techniques evolved.

    Introduced in 1899, gaslight papers were extremely common and widely available through the 1930s. Ubiquitous stalwarts of the amateur and professional alike, they were available from almost every paper manufacturer in Europe and North America, offered in endless artistic and practical varieties. Promoted as easy to use, the papers could be exposed in the comfort of one’s parlor, just inches from an ordinary gas jet or electric bulb. A darkroom was not required, because the slow chloro or chloro-bromo emulsions were not as sensitive as sister emulsions made for super-fast bromide enlarging papers. These now forgotten photographic papers brought darkroom photography to the masses.

    —Lee Ann Daffner

Back / Verso

  • Mount Type No mount
  • Marks and Inscriptions

    Stamped in back ink on sheet verso, top left: foto KINSZKI Imre. Inscribed in pencil on sheet verso, top center: Nem fényudvar-/mentes lemez [Nem is underlined] [1]. . Inscribed in pencil on sheet verso, center right: 9 [circled]. Inscribed in pencil on sheet verso, bottom center: KC 9.

    [1] "Not a nonhalation film."

  • Provenance The artist; to the artist’s daughter, Judit Kinszki [1]; to Vintage Galéria, Budapest, 1997 [2]; to Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, 1997 [3]; purchased by Thomas Walther, February 20, 1998 [4]; given to The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2001.
    [1] Attila Pocze (Vintage Galéria), e-mail to Simon Bieling, April 7, 2005.
    [2] MacGill/Walther 2001(4), p. 7; and Alicia Colen (Howard Greenberg Gallery), e-mail to Maria Morris Hambourg, October 25, 2013.
    [3] MacGill/Walther 2001(4), p. 7; and Colen, e-mail to Hambourg.
    [4] Howard Greenberg Gallery invoice no. 98-231, February 20, 1998; and Colen, e-mail to Hambourg.

Back Printing

Detail showing Agfa-Lupex manufacturer logo printed in ink on the verso of the photograph. In image processing, contrast was adjusted to enhance the readability of the logo. The area of detail is 1 x 3 cm. Department of Conservation, MoMA


  • Surface Sheen Semireflective
  • Techniques Contact print
  • 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 Unknown
  • Weight Single weight
  • Thickness (mm) 0.17
  • UV Fluorescence Recto negative
    Verso negative
  • Fiber Analysis Softwood bleached sulfite 39%
    Rag 48%
    Bast 14%
  • Material Techniques Developing-out paper
    Back printing
    Gaslight 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, P, S, Ca, Zn, Sr, Ag, Ba
    • Verso: Al, Si, S, K, Fe, Zn, Sr, Ba

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

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