The Lapis Press is pleased to announce Boxes, a new photographic edition with Matthew Brandt. The series of 12 compositions, each an edition of 5, results from Brandt’s explorations of the immense vaults of historic astronomical images housed at the The Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena. Erica Clark, the Observatories’ Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, extended an invitation to Lapis to offer our artists the use of the archive as a resource for creative projects, merging the realms of art and science. The visits inspired a sense of wonder at the order of the universe and how beautiful images can emerge from scientific research.
The archive houses over 200,000 photographic glass plate negatives made by astronomers from 1892 through the early 1990s using telescopes at Mount Wilson, Palomar, Las Campanas and Kenwood Observatories. After a night of studying and capturing celestial data, astronomers carried boxes of exposed glass plate negatives down from the mountaintop telescopes. As they analyzed the data on the large glass negatives, they would add notations with each level of information extracted from them, often making groundbreaking discoveries in astronomy from these calculations.