FORT WORTH, Texas—The Amon Carter Museum of American Art announces that it has cataloged, digitized and published online more than 35,000 artworks of eight prominent American photographers of the 20th century—Carlotta Corpron (1901–1988), Nell Dorr (1893–1988), Laura Gilpin (1891–1979), Eliot Porter (1901–1990), Helen Post (1907–1979), Clara Sipprell (1885–1975), Erwin E. Smith (1886–1947) and Karl Struss (1886–1981). This project was made possible by a $75,000 digitization grant the museum received from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 2012.
The Amon Carter owns the archives of these photographers, and the newly digitized works include all of the prints in these collections. Also digitized are 12,000 very fragile glass negatives, nitrate negatives and autochromes. Most are never-before-seen negatives that the museum is unable to display in the galleries due to format and fragility. The grant also allowed for the creation of new online collection guides that include biographical information, exhibition history, interpretative information and finding aids, which can be accessed here.
“We are tremendously pleased that the NEH grant allowed us to open the photography collection to the public in new ways,” says Andrew J. Walker, director. “The artworks of these eight artists reflect the range of American diversity in the 20th century, and the collection as a whole offers a singular view into the lives of working Americans. Also, with the addition of these works, we now offer a more comprehensive virtual guide to our collection, with a total of 60,000 works available online.”
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art houses one of the country’s major collections of American photography. The holdings span the history of the photographic medium in America and include works ranging from one of the earliest daguerreotypes produced in this country to contemporary digital prints. Although gallery space is devoted to photography exhibitions that rotate several times each year, thousands of images remain in storage. Providing virtual access opens eight significant archives as a continuous resource to all audiences.
“This NEH-supported initiative is the Amon Carter’s largest—and most comprehensive—digitization project to date,” says Jana Hill, collection information and imaging manager. “We are thrilled to bring the work of these eight photographers to the public in a meaningful way, particularly since many of the works are too fragile for exhibition. By offering new insights into the lives of these eight artists and providing context for their work, we hope this material will serve as an important educational resource for students, teachers and scholars in the humanities.”
Museum staff and scholars will talk about each of the eight photographers in the Amon Carter’s archives during an hour-long, live Google Art Talk on October 9 at 11 am CST. The presentation is part of Google’s Hangout On Air series and is free, interactive and accessible. It can also be viewed later on YouTube.