Print, The Human Eye—A Living Camera
This is a Print. It was designed by Herbert Bayer and made for (as the client) Life Magazine. It is dated 1939 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is offset lithograph on glossy white paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.
It is credited
Museum purchase with funding provided by the Buddy Taub Foundation, Dennis A. Roach and Jill Roach Directors.
Its dimensions are
35.7 × 26.5 cm (14 1/16 × 10 7/16 in.)
It is signed
Printed in light red ink, upper right corner: herbert bayer 39
It is inscribed
Printed in black ink, upper left: With its covering layers, its muscles and blood ves- / sels, the eye is infinitely more delicately made / than the finest camera. But its principle is the same. / The crystalline lens throws an inverted image on / the retina in exactly the same way that the camera / lens forms an image on a film. Unlike the camera, / however, the eye is focused by muscles which change / the focal length of the lens, making it thicker for / close objects, thinner for far ones. To compensate / for changes in light intensity, the eye’s pupil is / “stopped down” or opened up like a lens diaphragm. Lower left: IN THE BRAIN THE INVERTED IMAGES, FORMED ON RETINAS OF TWO EYES, ARE / BROUGHT TOGETHER TO FORM AN UPRIGHT STEREOSCOPIC VISUAL OBJECT Lower right: TO SCAN SUBJECTS, THE EYES ARE EQUIPPED WITH SIX PAIRS OF MUSCLES / WHICH PERMIT THE EYES TO BE TURNED IN ANY DIRECTION OR CONVERGED
Cite this object as
Print, The Human Eye—A Living Camera; Designed by Herbert Bayer (American, b. Austria, active Germany and USA, 1900–1985); Client: Life Magazine; offset lithograph on glossy white paper; 35.7 × 26.5 cm (14 1/16 × 10 7/16 in.); Museum purchase with funding provided by the Buddy Taub Foundation, Dennis A. Roach and Jill Roach Directors; 2016-54-59
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master.