Abelardo Morell, born 1948 in Havana, Cuba is a Boston-based photographer. Morell and his family fled Cuba in 1962, moving to New York City. Morell earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bowdoin College in 1977, and a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University School of Art in 1981. He received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Bowdoin in 1997.
Morell is well known in the photographic community for creating camera obscura images in various places around the world and photographing these. He has received a number of awards and grants, which include a Cintas grant in 1992 a Guggenheim fellowship in 1994 a Rappaport Prize in 2006 and an Alturas Foundation grant in 2009 to photograph the landscape of West Texas. He was the recipient of the International Center of Photography 2011 Infinity award in Art.
His work has been collected and shown in many galleries, institutions and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York, The Chicago Art Institute, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Houston Museum of Art, The Boston Museum of Fine Art, The Victoria & Albert Museum and over seventy other museums in the United States and abroad. A retrospective of his work organized jointly by the Art Institute of Chicago, The Getty and The High Museum in Atlanta will be on view starting in the summer of 2013.
His publications include a photographic illustration of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1998) by Dutton Children’s Books, A Camera in a Room (1995) by Smithsonian Press, A Book of Books (2002) and Camera Obscura (2004) by Bulfinch Press and Abelardo Morell (2005), published by Phaidon Press. Recent publications include a limited edition book by The Museum of Modern Art in New York of his Cliché Verre images with a text by Oliver Sacks.
*** The camera obscura is an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. It is used in drawing and for entertainment, and was one of the inventions that led to photography and the camera. The device consists of a box or room with a hole in one side. Light from an external scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface inside, where it is reproduced, upside-down, but with color and perspective preserved. The image can be projected onto paper, and can then be traced to produce a highly accurate representation. The largest camera obscura in the world is on Constitution Hill in Aberystwyth, Wales. Using mirrors, as in the 18th-century overhead version (illustrated in the History section below), it is possible to project a right-side-up image.
Another more portable type is a box with an angled mirror projecting onto tracing paper placed on the glass top, the image being upright as viewed from the back. As the pinhole is made smaller, the image gets sharper, but the projected image becomes dimmer. With too small a pinhole, however, the sharpness worsens, due to diffraction. Some practical camera obscuras use a lens rather than a pinhole because it allows a larger aperture, giving a usable brightness while maintaining focus. – Wikipedia