A Brief Visual Tour at Photo History


Shannon’s Inspiration Board – Note Product Placement in Upper Center Right!

One of the nice rewards of putting yourself out there, on this blog, in the creation and distribution of promotional material – and the like is when people take the time to give you feedback and you have the opportunity to make new friends.  Such is the case with the Smithsonian Museum of American History‘s curator Shannon Thomas Perich.  Shannon contacted me after I sent her a copy of Rank Strangers and we subsequently met and I have found her to be an ardent and erudite supporter of photography, and bona-fide keeper of the flame, so to speak.  In December she invited me on a tour through the archives of Photo History, which like many things in our fair nation’s capital is sequestered in an undisclosed location.


Photo History Like Many People Is Not Sexy on the Outside, it’s What’s on the Inside that Counts!


But if You are an Erstwhile Librarian Like Myself You will Be Enamored with the Flat Files and Card Catalogs with words like: Glass Plate Negatives & Underwood & Associates (Be Still my Beating Heart!)


I heart card catalogs!


A Daguerre of Louis Daguerre!


Project Idea: A stereoscopic daguerre!


Shannon’s favorite box for it’s sheer diversity.  (The photogs are arranged alphabetically. This may also contain the smallest Richard Misrach print known to man).



This and the one above: Delicious Gene Meatyard


My Personal Favorite: 1930 era vintage print by Lazlo Moholy-Nagy – would give right pinky to own this!


Another great L M-N.


Lest you think your tax dollar is squandered: these elevators haven’t been updated since c. 1981

BTW It should come as no surprise that according to my unofficial audit Elliot Erwitt has the most boxes of archive material there. About as many as there are dollars in the TARP.


6 thoughts on “A Brief Visual Tour at Photo History

  1. Pingback: A peek into America’s photo shoebox | Gallery Hopper

  2. The leading character in the British mystery series Lovejoy is a divvie. In other words whenever he is in the presence of genuine antiques and precious items he describes a physical response as if gong is going off in his chest. Did you get a little light headed? The thrill of the found rather than the displayed?


  3. i do enjoy the chase, mel. yes, all tingly and faintish – from the first card catologue dealing with the acquisitions to the lazlo print which was just exquisitely toned and printed – and the image was fantastic. i was a different woman leaving that place.


  4. Pingback: Picture Me Jealous « David Cupp Photography

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