A History of Photography

May 4–October 14, 2018, History of Photography Gallery

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    Geneviève-Elisabeth Disdéri (French, 1817–1878). Port militaire. Direction du port, 1856. Albumen silver print. George Eastman Museum, gift of Eastman Kodak Company, ex-collection Gabriel Cromer.

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    Anna Atkins (British, 1799–1871). Carix (America), ca. 1850. Cyanotype. George Eastman Museum, purchase with funds from the Ford Motor Company Fund and the Margaret T. Morris Foundation.

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    Laura Gilpin (American, 1891–1979). Shiprock from the North Rim of Mesa Verde, 1926. Platinum print. George Eastman Museum, purchase. © 1979 Amon Carter Museum of American Art

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    Julia Margaret Cameron (British, b. India, 1815–1879). Mrs. Herbert Duckworth, 1867. Albumen silver print. George Eastman Museum, purchase.

This rotation, curated by Rachel E. Andrews, assistant collection manager in the Department of Photography, provides an overview of the history of photography through works produced by women photographers, artists, printers, and entrepreneurs. Selections include portraits hand-colored by unidentified nineteenth-century women, a botanical specimen by Anna Atkins, the photograph by Margaret Bourke-White featured on the cover of Life magazine’s first issue, and a conceptual artwork of appropriated words and imagery by Barbara Kruger. This installation highlights women’s involvement in the production of photographic objects from the medium’s invention to the present day.

About the History of Photography Gallery

The George Eastman Museum photography collection is among the best and most comprehensive in the world. With holdings that include objects ranging in date from the announcement of the medium’s invention in 1839 to the present day, the collection represents the full history of photography. Works by renowned masters of the medium exist side-by- side with vernacular and scientific photographs. The collection also includes all applications of the medium, from artistic pursuit to commercial enterprise and from amateur pastime to documentary record, as well as all types of photographic processes, from daguerreotypes to digital prints. The museum's History of Photography Gallery is dedicated to rotating installations that demonstrate photography’s historical trajectory through photographs and cameras drawn from the collection. The selection of photographs changes approximately three times a year, continually refreshing the experience of visiting the Eastman Museum and offering regular opportunities to display the museum’s treasures.

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