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Carolin Lange

Visual Arts, De Montfort University

Thesis title:

On the performance of colours - Plant-based spectral photographs by John F. W. Herschel (1792-1871) and the network of experimental practices of science, photography, and botany in mid 19th century Britain.

My project reperforms experiments by John F.W. Herschel that studied the photographic action of light on plants and minerals, creating multi-coloured impressions of the solar spectrum and instigating a lively correspondence with scientist Mary Sommerville and chemist/writer Robert Hunt. Only a small set of experiments was communicated to the Royal Society (1840/1842), though unpublished notebook entries expand the investigation from 1829 to 1858. The experiments are an early contribution to spectroscopy, predate colour photography and discovered fundamental concepts of photographic colour production. Largely overlooked in photographic histories, these early investigations form an important but understudied aspect of colour photography studies.

Research Area

  • Photography History, Theory and Practice
  • Visual Arts


2022 Disclosing Futures - Rethinking Heritage. The Dutch Architecture Archive NL

2021 Het Experiment met de Blauwdruk. lecture evening. Het Nieuwe Instituut NL

2020 Experimentieren. Institut für Medienwissenschaft der Ruhr-Universität Bochum DE

2019 Reflections UID Perugia IT

2019 Bild-Handlungen. RWTH Aachen University DE

2018 Virtual and Actual. Cornell University US    

2017 EAHN Conference Tools of the Architect. TU Delft NL

2017 Drawing instruments. Maastricht University NL


selected solo exhibitions 

2021    Cutting someone elses diamonds. in collaboration with Dico Kruijsse

            Sanatorium Zonnestraal Hilversum. NL

2019    under the same sun. in collaboration with Dico Kruijsse. Denkfabrik. Kassel DE

2018    photo-graph. Kunstfenster #15. Goethe-Institut Rotterdam DE

2018    under the same sun. in collaboration with Dico Kruijsse. Gallery Lecq. Rotterdam NL

2017    conditions architect. Galerie Pamme-Vogelsang. Cologne DE

2016    open office landscape. Neuer Aachener Kunstverein. Aachen DE


selected duo/group exhibitions 

2022    Passage-Passant 5. Goethe-Institute Rotterdam DE

2022    A Wild Summer or Art. Brutus Gallery. Rotterdam NL

2022    Re_Making. Recreative Research Practices. foundation B.A.D. Rotterdam NL

2021    Shortlisted. Art prize. 'Psyche, Kunst und Gesundheit' Ruhr-Universität Bochum DE

2020    Inside-Out. foundation B.A.D. Rotterdam NL

2019    light.sensitive.material. photography conference. University of West London UK

2019    Neuhaus. under the same sun. Het Nieuwe Institute Rotterdam NL

2019    CO/LAB 4. Torrance Art Museum. Torrance, California US