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A History of Photography

May 3–October 20, 2019, History of Photography Gallery

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969, this installation in the History of Photography Gallery examines the intersecting histories of photography and space exploration. A source of artistic inspiration, scientific inquiry, and popular fascination, the moon has long been an important subject of visual culture since before the invention of photography. This selection of objects from the photography collection ranges from stereoscopic views made through a telescope, amateur snapshots, and scientific documents to artworks by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, Ansel Adams, László Moholy-Nagy, and Linda Connor, among others.

This rotation in the History of Photography Gallery was co-curated by Lisa Hostetler, curator in charge of the Department of Photography; Tracy Stuber, Kress Interpretive Fellow; and students in the master’s program in Photographic Preservation and Collection Management Sarah Brody, Delaney Duvall Linehan, and Candice Yates.

Inspired by the Moon

These playlists features songs inspired by the photographs in the current History of Photography rotation, plus one bonus track. To follow along, start at the beginning and move clockwise through the exhibition. The first playlist was inspired by the first fourteen photographs, and the second by the remaining eleven.

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 twice a year, and each rotation offers new opportunities to engage with the museum's treasures.