Art Term

Albumen print

Invented in 1850, and commonly used in the late nineteenth century, the albumen print is a type of photographic print made from paper coated with albumen (egg white)

Eadweard Muybridge
Head-spring, a flying pigeon interfering. Plate 365 1887

© Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Museum Purchase

The albumen print became popular because it produced a rich sharp image. The process involves coating a sheet of paper with albumen (egg white), making the paper’s surface glossy and smooth. It is then coated in a solution of silver nitrate. The albumen and the silver nitrate form light-sensitive silver salts on the paper. When a glass negative is placed directly on the paper and exposed to light, it forms an image on the paper.

related terms and concepts


Photography refers to the process or practice of creating a photograph – an image produced by the action of light ...