“Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop” is an exhibition that takes a look at manipulated photography from the 1840s until the 1990s, when digital photo editing largely replaced manual techniques. The exhibition includes some 200 works, from quaint Victorian trick photography to misleading propaganda images. Organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the exhibition is currently on display at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., through May 5, 2013. To see a gallery of works from the exhibition, see this NPR photo story.
The urge to modify camera images is as old as photography itself—only the methods have changed. Nearly every type of manipulation we now associate with digital photography was also part of the medium’s pre-digital repertoire: smoothing away wrinkles, slimming waistlines, adding people to a scene (or removing them)—even fabricating events that never took place.
image via The Metropolitan Museum of Art