The majority of this 10,000-plus piece collection is comprised of the Janos Scholz Collection of Nineteenth-Century European Photographs, which includes some fine early prints by Henry Talbot Fox, David Octavius Hill, Robert Adamson, Gustave Le Gray, Julia Margaret Cameron, Robert MacPherson, and other pioneers of the art form. Other specialty areas include the Civil War and the exploration of the American West.

The Museum continues to  acquire prints thanks to the generosity of Milly and Fritz Kaeser and other donors.

Recent acquisitions include images by Eugène Atget, Eadweard Muybridge, Timothy O'Sullivan, Doris Ulmann, Frederick Sommer and Lauren Greenfield.

Because photographs are susceptible to damage from light and exposure to environmental conditions, they are displayed only occasionally and temporarily.  Appointments to study photographs not on exhibit can be made by contacting the registrar at (574) 631-4727 or

Download the catalog by Stephen Moriarty, Darkness and Light: Death and Beauty in Photography.

americanMathew B. Brady (American, 1823-1896), Colonel Philippe Régis de Trobriand on the Ramparts of Fort Gaines Tennallytown, Maryland, 1861 albumen print from wet collodion negative, 10 3/8 x 15 ½ inches (sheet) Acquired with funds provided by the Milly and Fritz Kaeser Endowment for Photography 2013.038.001.

Mathew Brady, Colonel Philippe Régis de Trobriand on the Ramparts of Fort Gaines, Tennallytown, Maryland, 1861

Mathew Brady, was the most famous American photographer of his day, with studios in New York and Washington, D.C. Abraham Lincoln acknowledged the photographer’s importance in creating his nationwide reputation. 

Brady dedicated himself to documentation of the Civil War.  A photograph from early in the conflict brings his portraitist’s sensibility to a proclamation of Union strength and expertise.  Philippe Régis Denis de Keredern de Trobriand was the son of a Napoleonic general.  Trained as a soldier, he moved to the United States at age twenty-five, married a New York heiress, and became a publisher. He was moved by events preceding the Civil War, and became a citizen in order to volunteer for the Union Army.  Trobriand organized the 55th New York Infantry, a regiment of French immigrants, known as the “Gardes Lafayette.”  In October 1861 they were bivouacked near Tennallytown, where they constructed a gun battery at Fort Gaines.  While visiting the battery Brady found an opportunity to portray Trobriand, and the Union’s formidable Seacoast Howitzers. 

By this time, he was recruiting others to photograph on the battlefield, supplying negatives that Brady’s studio printed and published, making his reputation as the father of American photojournalism.  Long exposures and cumbersome procedures prevented these photographers from capturing the action, but their images of the aftermath shocked and influenced civilian viewers and politicians.