In 1881, William Robert Ware founded the Architecture Program at Columbia University, bringing with him an extensive collection of lantern slides, the foundation of the image archive at the school. These glass plate photographs depict a wide range of locations and represented the most technologically advanced method of image representation at the time. The lantern slide as a medium vastly expanded the scope of architectural education, providing a new means to view works that were formerly known only through drawings and textual descriptions. Eventually, the detail-rich format of the lantern slide was surpassed by the 35mm slide for its color and economy, and more recently by the digital image for its immediacy and flexibility. But the slides themselves remain as a testament to the evolving history of architectural education, the technology of image-making, and our architectural heritage.
Juxtaposed to Avery Library’s digital scanning lab, the installation continues the themes of the GSAPP exhibition “Framed Transformations: The Lantern Slide in Architecture Education” (Fall 2010). That project explored the technology and pedagogy behind lantern slides and other forms of image representation.
The Lantern Wall project was designed and installed by the GSAPP Slide & Video Library curatorial team:
• Exhibition Design: Michael Bosbous, Zach Edelson, Damon Lau, Caroline Lebar, Luisa Mendez, Tiffany Rattray, Anton Yupangco
• Fabrication and Installation: Geof Bell, Damon Lau, Caroline Lebar, Tiffany Rattray, Anton Yupangco
• Slide Library Curatorial Staff: Luisa Mendez, Curator 2011-2012; Caroline Lebar, Curator 2012-2013; Damon Lau, Senior Assistant Curator; Tiffany Rattray, Assistant Curator
• Slide Library Staff: Rand Abdul Jabbar, Lina Ayala, Geof Bell, Michael Bosbous, Zach Edelson, Albert Lopez, Ismaelly Pena, Maya Porath, Katie Stokien, Anton Yupangco