Shutterbugs – this sculpture’s for you

It seems only fitting that a sculpture of the first photographer rests outside the National Portrait Gallery on 7th St. N.W. just steps from the Verizon Center.

Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre (November 18, 1787 – July 10, 1851) was a French artist known for the daguerreotype process of photography. He teamed with Joseph Niepce in 1827 because Niepce was a printer who Daguerre thought could speed up the process. Unfortunately, Niepce died in 1833 so it took Daguerre another six years to perfect the process. The French government then bought the invention and declared it a gift to the world.

The sculpture was first dedicated on August 15, 1890 at the Arts and Industries Building. It was moved outside from 1897 to 1969 before moved to storage. It was relocated to its present location in 1989.

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