MILWAUKEE – Margaret Muza has been named as the Pfister Hotel’s ninth resident artist. Muza was chosen by public vote, for only the second time in the history of the Artist-in-Residence program.
Muza, from the Milwaukee-area is a tintype photographer, and beginning in April, she’ll use the hotel’s lobby as an Artist’s Studio.
From Urban Milwaukee
“I am thrilled to be chosen as The Pfister Hotel’s ninth Artist in Residence. I plan to transform the studio space into an authentic tintype studio where guests can witness this historic photography process that dates back to the Civil War era,” said Muza. “My love of history made me familiar with tintypes. The beauty of older portraits such as Abraham Lincoln, Fredrick Douglass and others moved me and I fell in love with the process. I am eager to begin interacting with hotel guests and teaching them the inner workings of tintype photography. As part of my work in the studio, I will be able to capture memorable moments as they happen and give guests their own unique tintype portrait only a few minutes after the picture is taken. I look forward to capturing the many faces of guests and associates and telling their story through my work.”
Tintype is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photograph emulsion. Tintype photography became popular during the 1860s, and was commonly made by photographers in booths at open fairs and carnivals, as well as by sidewalk photographers. As the ninth Artist in Residence, Muza will engage guests in the tintype process. Taking only about fifteen minutes from start to finish, Muza mixes a liquid “film” called collodion and pours it directly onto the metal plate which will then sensitize in silver nitrate making it light sensitive. The plate is then loaded onto the back of a large format view camera and exposed for anywhere between one and 15 seconds depending on a few variables. Finally, the plate is developed on site.
As part of her residency, Muza plans to create a book of the images she captures throughout her year as a Legacy Piece for the hotel.
For more on Muza and her art, visit Urban Milwaukee.