After 110 years hidden in a tin at the National Media Museum in Bradford, UK, researchers have discovered what are believed to be the world’s oldest color films. Created by cinematic pioneer Edward Raymond Turner, the films date to 1902 and depict the inventor’s children, a girl on a swing, and soldiers marching. Before this find, the oldest color film was believed to be a 1909 film created in Kinemacolor.
The three-color process used in these early films was patented by Edward Turner and Frederick Marshall Lee on March 22, 1899. While H. Isensee of Germany patented an early version of color cinematography in 1897, the Turner/Lee method was the first system to lead to a working model. While Turner was a chemist and photographer, his partner, Lee, was a race horse owner and funded Turner’s experiments.
According to the Who’s Who of Victorian Cinema:
In practice, however, the Lee and Turner system was a failure. It required a projection speed of forty-eight frames per second, combined with precise registration of three separate images from lenses positioned in parallel. The result was an unwatchable blur.
Why is Turner’s name little known to the history of cinema? He died of a heart attack in 1903, which only goes to show that history isn’t only written by the victors but also by those with better health.
It should be noted that Turner’s process did eventually lead to Kinemacolor in 1906, which became the world’s first successful motion picture system in natural colors.
The films are currently on display at the National Media Museum.
They Managed to Mess Up an Art Heist Movie
There must be a lesson in Vasilis Katsoupis’s film Inside about the vacuousness of the art market or the claustrophobia of exhibition spaces — I just don’t care.
Ten Painful Stories of the Dutch Colonial Slave Trade
The Rijksmuseum’s traveling show strives to remind us that we are all, in some way, a part of this chapter of human history, whose legacy continues today.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Textured Histories at Shiprock Santa Fe
The Santa Fe gallery features Indigenous textiles and jewelry from the early 19th century to today.
Renaissance Portrait of “Ugly Duchess” Likely Depicts a Man
A curator at London’s National Gallery believes the subject of painter Quinten Massys’s painting “is most likely a he.”
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Hokusai’s “Great Wave” Makes a Splash at Auction
An edition of the iconic woodblock print broke records when it sold for $2.8M this week.
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Back With an Inflatable Dolphin
Episode four, in which artists tackled themes of justice and injustice, was the most lifeless of the reality TV show so far.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture
Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.
Tickets to Sold-Out Vermeer Show Are Going for Hundreds
The online resale market for the Rijksmuseum’s smash exhibition is booming, with tickets selling on eBay for over $2K.
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?