Home Trending News The Met Just Received a Monumental Gift of 700 Historic Photographs—See the Early Tintypes, Daguerrotypes, and More Here

The Met Just Received a Monumental Gift of 700 Historic Photographs—See the Early Tintypes, Daguerrotypes, and More Here

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The Met Just Received a Monumental Gift of 700 Historic Photographs—See the Early Tintypes, Daguerrotypes, and More Here


A major gift of more than 700 historic photographs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art is poised to “rewrite the narrative of American photography,” said museum curator Jeff Rosenheim in a statement.

The cache of images dating from the 1840s to the 1910s comes from the storied collection of William Schaeffer, a specialist in 19th-century photography, and is a gift promised to the museum by trustee Philip Maritz and his wife Jennifer. The collection is now on view in the exhibition “2020 Vision: Photographs, 1840s–1860s,” on the occasion of the museum’s 150th anniversary.

The invention of photography, in 1839, predates the founding of the museum by three decades and the exhibition highlights its early achievements, such as salted paper prints, daguerrotypes, tintypes, cyanotopes, platinum, and gelatin silver prints. The works on view span a range of perspectives and experiments within the medium, including portraiture, landscape tableaux, and documentary works, giving insight into the world as seen through the eyes of early practitioners, as well as the process-based developments in the medium.

See images below from “2020 Vision: Photographs, 1840s–1860s,” on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through May 10, 2020

Unknown American, Studio photographer at work (ca. 1855). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Attributed to McPherson & Oliver, Our Scouts and Guides in 1863 at Baton Rouge, Louisiana (1860s). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Attributed to McPherson & Oliver, Our Scouts and Guides in 1863 at Baton Rouge, Louisiana (1860s). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

James Fitzallen Ryder, Locomotive James McHenry, Atlantic and Great Western Railway (1862). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

James Fitzallen Ryder, Locomotive James McHenry, Atlantic and Great Western Railway (1862). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Josiah Johnson Hawes, Winter on the Common, Boston (1850s). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Josiah Johnson Hawes, Winter on the Common, Boston (1850s). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

E. & H. T. Anthony & Co., Specimens of New York Bill Posting (1863). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

E. & H. T. Anthony & Co., Specimens of New York Bill Posting (1863). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

R.C. Montgomery, Self-portrait (1850s). Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

R.C. Montgomery, Self-portrait (1850s). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Andrew Joseph Russell, Street Scene, Culpeper, Virginia, March 1864 (1864). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Andrew Joseph Russell, Street Scene, Culpeper, Virginia, March 1864. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lewis Dowe, Dowe's Photograph Rooms, Sycamore, Illinois, 1860s (1860s). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lewis Dowe, Dowe’s Photograph Rooms, Sycamore, Illinois, 1860s. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lewis Dowe, Dowe's Photograph Rooms, Sycamore, Illinois, 1860s (1860s). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lewis Dowe, Dowe’s Photograph Rooms, Sycamore, Illinois, 1860s. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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