“Crimes against photography”: Man Ray and the "rayograph"

Man Ray began making photographs in the 1920s, in the midst of the Dada movement. Through an accident in the darkroom, he soon discovered a new means of creating photos without a camera. Meet the artist who committed “crimes against chemistry and photography,” as he described it, and produced some of the most memorable and iconic pictures of his time.

Pioneers of Photography

What was photography before film and photographic paper? Before shutters and adjustable apertures? The pioneers of the medium had to experiment and invent. They had to build their own precision equipment and mix reactive chemicals. This series explores the intrepid personalities who toiled in the dark to bring the nascent art of photography to light.

Projects + Perspectives

Find out more about the people and stories that make up SFMOMA. We love what we do and want to share it with you!