Preview: ”Discovering the Language of Photography”, Ransom Center, Austin,Texas

In Art Museum, Black and White Photography, Exhibits on December 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm


Winifred Casson, “Accident”

This impressive survey of the history of photography is available for viewing at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin.

Featuring more than 175 items, the exhibition showcases one of the seminal collections of the history of photography in the United States. Amassed by the renowned husband-and-wife team of Helmut and Alison Gernsheim between 1945 and 1963, it contains an unparalleled range of more than 35,000 images, beginning with the world’s earliest-known photograph from nature, made by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826-27. Its encyclopedic scope-as well as the expertise with which the Gernsheims assembled the collection-makes the Gernsheim collection one of the world’s premier sources for the study and appreciation of photography.

Along with photographs from the collection, the exhibition includes equipment, albums, correspondence and other manuscript materials that illustrate a visual history of photography from the earliest-known photograph to images of the mid-20th century. Also included are some of the 30 photography books the Gernsheims authored.

While a substantial portion of the Gernsheim collection focuses on 19th-century British photography by artists such as Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, Roger Fenton, Henry Peach Robinson, and David Hill and Robert Adamson, several of the collection’s works by unknown or lesser-known artists who used various means to improve or to exploit the relatively new invention of photography will also be displayed. The exhibition will highlight key moments in the history of photography as well as important technological and ideological shifts in the act of picture making.

Now through Jan. 2, 2011

For more information: Harry Ransom Center

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