Henry Art Gallery

University of Washington

Visit: 

15th Ave NE & 41st St
Seattle, WA 98195
(206)543-2280

Hours: 

11-4: Wed
11-9: Thu, Fri
11-4: Sat, Sun
Closed: Mon, Tue

Nav:

Exhibitions:

From Public to Private: The Evolution of Portrait Photography in Everyday American Life (1850-1900)

North Galleries

March 10, 2012June 10, 2012


Image 1 / 4: From Public to Private: The Evolution of Portrait Photography in Everyday American Life (1850-1900). (installation view).

Image 2 / 4: From Public to Private: The Evolution of Portrait Photography in Everyday American Life (1850-1900). (installation view).

Image 3 / 4: From Public to Private: The Evolution of Portrait Photography in Everyday American Life (1850-1900). (installation view).

Image 4 / 4: From Public to Private: The Evolution of Portrait Photography in Everyday American Life (1850-1900). (installation view).

The announcement of photography, in 1839, made portraiture accessible to more people than ever before, and by the 1850s, it had become the focus of a new, flourishing industry. As everyday Americans clamored for professionally produced portrait photographs, a thriving and fiercely competitive marketplace evolved. Photographic portraits moved into the domestic sphere and became “household treasures” that families affectionately preserved in cases and albums—heirlooms that marked a new kind of family documentation.

This exhibition tells the story of two uniquely American aspects of early portrait photography: the emergence of the studio system and its unique marketing strategies; and the function of portraiture as precious keepsakes in everyday households. The exhibition draws works from the Henry’s Monsen photography collection and the University of Washington’s Special Collections.

Curated by Kimberly Hereford, PhD candidate in Art History, University of Washington. Support provided by the Patrons of the Henry.
Image 1: From Public to Private: The Evolution of Portrait Photography in Everyday American Life (1850-1900). (installation view). 2012. Henry Art Gallery. Photo credit: R.J. Sanchez
Image 2: From Public to Private: The Evolution of Portrait Photography in Everyday American Life (1850-1900). (installation view). 2012. Henry Art Gallery. Photo credit: R.J. Sanchez
Image 3: From Public to Private: The Evolution of Portrait Photography in Everyday American Life (1850-1900). (installation view). 2012. Henry Art Gallery. Photo credit: R.J. Sanchez
Image 4: From Public to Private: The Evolution of Portrait Photography in Everyday American Life (1850-1900). (installation view). 2012. Henry Art Gallery. Photo credit: R.J. Sanchez