Vera Lutter is well-known for her straight-forward, monumental photographs of urban landscapes, historic monuments, and industrial sites created with a camera obscura (“dark room” in Latin), a device which was used to produce direct images of reality before the invention of photography. A camera obscura is made by creating a small opening in an otherwise sealed room or chamber. Light from an external source penetrates the opening, which acts as a lens, and is cast, upside down, on an opposite surface. Lutter hangs black-and-white photographic paper on the opposite wall to capture the image. The resulting pictures are one-of-a-kind paper negatives. Gramercy Park, New York is an early example of this process.

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Vera Lutter, German, born 1960
Gramercy Park, New York: April 24, 1997
Gelatin silver print
Image: 23 5/16 × 20 3/8 in. (59.2 × 51.8 cm) Sheet: 23 5/16 × 20 3/8 in. (59.2 × 51.8 cm) Frame: 29 × 33 × 2 in. (73.7 × 83.8 × 5.1 cm)
Credit Line

The Target Collection of American Photography, museum purchase funded by Target Stores, The Manfred Heiting Collection

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number

[Manfred Heiting, Malibu, California]; purchased by MFAH, 2002.