Luther Gerlach
Title: Royce Hall (Tryptic)
Medium: Ambrotype Photograph 20.5 x 22.75 in. (52.1 x 57.8 cm.)". 2015

This antique-looking photograph of Royce Hall, one of UCLA’s four original buildings, is meant to evoke a time when the campus was in its infancy in 1929. A one-of-a-kind work, this image was shot by photographer Luther Gerlach, who captured Royce Hall with a handmade 1850s-style camera equipped with a lens that dates back to the 1860s.

Using an early photograph technique known as an ambrotype – a process in which an image is captured on silver-coated glass – the artist produced a small glass plate image measuring 27 x 9 inches. This plate was then digitized, enlarged and printed on three large acrylic panels. To mimic the luminosity of the original glass plate, the backs of these panels were covered with a layer of high-quality pearlescent paint. Slight imperfections are visible in the image owing to the nature of the developing process.