New to the Collection: Twentieth-Century Photographs

Author: Gina Costa

This exhibition reveals the ongoing activity to build and refine the holdings of the Snite Museum’s permanent collection, meant for enjoyment and instruction of students now and in in the future.  For the art museum the chief objects of interest are creative photographs, made with aesthetic intent.  During the twentieth century, however, photography is so prevalent and central to visual culture, that such distinctions blur. 

This group of objects, acquired by the museum from 2013 to the present day, include portraits, photojournalism, fashion and advertising photography, as well as intention works of fine art.  The images reflect the evolution of artistic styles over the course of the century, and the influences of Pictorialism, Modernism and abstraction, Futurism and Cubism, Regionalism and the American Scene, even Conceptualism and Earth Art can be seen in the images.  Moreover, this group of photographs reveals an unintentional survey of the changing technology of photography, from platinum and silver developed out prints to photogravure.  A range of color photography processes are also represented, some of them now almost extinct, including carbro printing, dye imbibation, and silver dye bleach printings.  These make a fascinating comparison to the contemporary digital inkjet printing techniques. new_to_the_collection_photos.pdf