Cleveland Print Room Exhibition to Showcase 19th-Century Photographic Trend

The Cleveland Print Room begins its 2016 exhibition schedule with an opening reception for Greg Martin’s Persistence of Vision this Friday, Jan. 15 from 5 to 9 p.m.

Martin specializes in the wet plate collodion process, which dates back to the 1850s. As technology continues to influence current photographic trends, Martin’s work celebrates this long-outdated process.

"With the Print Room's emphasis on film and alternative processes in the photographic realm we are excited to have Greg Martin's solo show that features his wet plate collodion work," says Cleveland Print Room Director Shari Wilkins.

Martin graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Industrial Design Program in 1989, and has been working with the wet plate collodion process for nearly a decade. He is an original board member of the Cleveland Print Room’s advisory board, and has hosted numerous demonstrations of wet plate portrait sessions, as well as the collodion process. His award-winning work has been featured in the Plain Dealer.

“Describing the wet plate collodion process and its inherent challenges most often elicits curious and confused looks, and quite often a puzzled ‘Why would you want to do this?’ and ‘What’s wrong with a digital photo?’” Martin explains. “My answer is simple: Within this archaic, long-ignored, frustrating process I have found a method of creation that is continuously challenging, constantly inspiring, and profoundly rewarding. This technique is gaining back its popularity amongst contemporary photographers even though it is demanding, expensive, and is a long process.”

At 1 p.m. on Feb. 20, Martin will host a wet plate collodion demonstration and gallery talk.

While it gained 19th-century popularity quickly due to its ability to make virtually limitless reproductions and its clarity and sharpness, the process had a major disadvantage: Everything, from plate coating to developing, had to be completed before the plate dried (roughly 10 minutes).

The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public, but the wet plate collodion demonstration is free for CPR members or $20 for non-members.

(Cleveland Print Room) 2550 Superior Ave., 216-401-5981,

Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.
Scroll to read more Cleveland News articles

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.