Photography Collection Takes Center Stage this Summer at the Carter

Release date: 
May 3, 2006

FORT WORTH, Texas --- One hundred of the greatest photographs from one of the premier photography collections in the country will be on view at the Amon Carter Museum from July 1 through August 20. Presented in the 4,600-square-foot Special Exhibition Galleries, all of the works are from the museum’s permanent holdings; admission is free.

“This show presents some of the most artful, dramatic and inspiring photographs in the history of the medium,” said John Rohrbach, senior curator of photographs. “With the quality and depth of the Carter’s collection, it was difficult to narrow the selection to 100, but we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to showcase highlights of the collection in the museum’s prime gallery space.”

The exhibition begins chronologically with one of the first daguerreotypes made in America–a ca. 1840 portrait of two Philadelphia doctors–and continues across the medium’s full history, presenting the technical development of photography from the daguerreotype to digital works made just last year.

“The photography collection at the Amon Carter Museum is a jewel of connoisseurship and a national treasure,” said Alison Nordström, curator of photographs at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. “Their ”˜100 great photographs’ are sure to be a spectacular offering.”

Photography has been an integral part of the Carter’s collection and program for almost all of its 45-year history. Soon after the museum opened in January 1961 to display Amon G. Carter’s collection of works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, founding director Mitchell A. Wilder (1913–1979) began to include photography in his expansive and imaginative plans for the museum. Documentary photographer Dorothea Lange (1895–1965) provided the first opportunity to collect photography when she suggested in May 1961 that her photographs of Charles Russell (a friend of her husband, western painter Maynard Dixon) would complement the museum’s holdings of his art. Wilder enthusiastically acquired a selection of her studies, and the cornerstone of the photography collection was formed.

During the ensuing years, the Carter’s photography collection developed the dual character of being an extensive historical archive documenting American cultural history as well as a fine art collection representing some of the greatest American achievements in photographic art. In the exhibition 100 Great American Photographs, visitors will experience some of the highlights of this collection, now recognized as one of the most important in the country.

“Who would have imagined that an art museum that began with the drawings, paintings and sculpture of Frederic Remington and Charles Russell at its core would go on to form one of the most renowned collections of photographs in America,” said Weston Naef, curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. “”˜All embracing’ is the best way to describe the Amon Carter Museum ’s photography holdings. The collection was formed with a likeable combination of discernment and craving.”

The museum’s continued commitment to its photography collection is mirrored in its frequent presentation of special exhibitions–both traveling shows and those organized by the Carter. Recent examples include In the American West: Photographs by Richard Avedon; Master Prints of Edward S. Curtis: Portraits of Native America; Brent Phelps: Photographing the Lewis and Clark Trail; Eliot Porter: The Color of Wildness; and Edward Weston: Life Work. This fall, the museum presents two special photography exhibitions: Bound for Glory, September 2 – November 12, organized by the Library of Congress, and Regarding the Land: Robert Glenn Ketchum and the Legacy of Eliot Porter, September 16, 2006 – January 7, 2007, organized by the Amon Carter Museum.

Public Programs for 100 Great American Photographs

Admission is free.

Sunday, July 9, 1–4 p.m.
Click! Fun with Photos
Come to the Carter for hands-on fun. See what makes a great photograph and discover ways to compose your next vacation shots and family photos.

Sunday, July 23, 3 p.m.
“”¦no home in this world”¦”
Dreaming with Open Eyes
Peter Feresten, Associate Professor of Photography, Tarrant County College, Northeast Campus
In the Auditorium
Learn how photographer Peter Feresten came to practice his craft in Fort Worth’s African-American community.
Seating is limited and first come, first served. Auditorium doors open at 2:30 p.m.

Museum Hours

Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday: noon to 5 p.m.
Closed Monday and major holidays.