A History of Photography

October 14, 2017–April 1, 2018, History of Photography Gallery

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    Gertrude Käsebier (American, 1852–1934). [Hermine Käsebier Turner with Mason and Mina Turner], ca. 1909. Platinum print. George Eastman Museum, gift of Hermine Turner.

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    John Moffat (Scottish, 1819–1894). William Henry Fox Talbot, 1864. Carbon print, printed 1948 by Harold White. George Eastman Museum, gift of Mrs. Alden Scott Boyer.

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    Unidentified maker. [Annotated snapshot], July 1932. Gelatin silver print. George Eastman Museum, gift of Peter J. Cohen.

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    Gillian Wearing (British, b. 1963). Me as Talbot, 2013. Gelatin silver print. George Eastman Museum, purchase with funds from the Photography Collection Committee, the Charina Foundation, Kate and Steve Foley, and the Rochester Collectors Circle. © Gillian Wearing

This rotation provides an overview of the history of photography through images that include photographers, photographic apparatus, and/or photographic objects. Made by a wide range of photographers, the objects on view begin with John Moffat’s 1865 portrait of William Henry Fox Talbot and culminate in Gillian Wearing’s 2013 work Me As Talbot, a self-portrait that mimics a portrayal of Talbot with his mousetrap camera. Curated by Jamie M. Allen, associate curator of photography, this installation depicts how photographers have referred to the medium, and to themselves, in their image-making.

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.

Related Events

Focus 45: History of Photography
Saturday, October 21, 12 p.m.
Jamie M. Allen will discuss the latest installation in the museum’s History of Photography Gallery.

Curator's Gallery Tour
Thursday, December 21, 1 p.m.
Saturday, March 10, 1 p.m.
Associate Curator Jamie Allen will lead a gallery tour of her selections for the current History of Photography rotation.

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