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Museum Minute: Vincent Mercaldo

McCracken Research Library

Vincent Mercaldo was a painter and artist. But many people, including his family, didn’t realize that he collected and manipulated photographs as well.

“What makes his collection really interesting is the fact that he was an artist and he wasn't afraid to manipulate images,” said Samantha Harper, an archivist at the McCracken Research Library. 

Harper said going through his photos, you have to be very careful to differentiate what is a real photo and one that might’ve been manipulated. 

“He wasn't afraid to cut somebody's head off in another picture and put them in a completely different picture,” said Harper. “He would paint different backgrounds onto an image if he didn't like the scenery.”

Harper said most of the photos are obvious enough to tell that they are manipulated. But she said it’s kind of a predecessor to modern days and photo manipulation.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.