Rochester, N.Y., August 10, 2020—The George Eastman Museum has recently opened a new rotation in its History of Photography Gallery commemorating the centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. The amendment was intended to prohibit states and the federal government from denying citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex. While this is celebrated as granting American women the right to vote, many women continued to be prevented from exercising that right. The installation, which opened on July 26 when the museum reopened to the public, will remain on view through January 3, 2021. For those who cannot visit the museum in person, the gallery is also available to view virtually with a 3D tour at eastman.org.
This installation examines how photography has portrayed, and fundamentally shaped, perceptions of women and feminist movements since the mid-1800s. The selection of works on view includes portraits of suffragist Susan B. Anthony and abolitionist Sojourner Truth, documents related to Civil Rights Era feminists Angela Davis and Gloria Steinem, and artworks by Julia Margaret Cameron and Carrie Mae Weems. Since its invention, photography has played an instrumental role in picturing women around the world as they fight for their basic human rights. A broad array of objects—from tintypes and card-mounted photographs to ID badges and images by celebrated photojournalists Margaret Bourke-White—showcases the diversity of the George Eastman Museum’s photography collection.
This rotation in the History of Photography Gallery was curated by Lisa Hostetler, curator in charge, Department of Photography; Jamie M. Allen, Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Associate Curator; and master’s students in the Photographic Preservation and Collections Management program Rebecca Gourevitch, Forrest Soper, Maya Swann Vitale, and Xiaochun Wang. Each student has recorded a virtual tour of the rotation based on their individual research, including different selections of works. These tours are available to view at eastman.org.
Focus 45: A History of Photography
Friday, August 14, 1 p.m.
Register through Zoom
Commemorating the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment’s ratification, this presentation examines how photography has portrayed, and fundamentally shaped, perceptions of women and feminist movements since the mid-1800s. Curator Lisa Hostetler will expand on the current selection of photographs in the History of Photography Gallery. The talk is free to all and registration is required via Zoom, as spaces are limited.
About the History of Photography Gallery
The George Eastman Museum photography collection is among the best and most comprehensive in the world. With holdings that include objects ranging in date from the announcement of the medium’s invention in 1839 to the present day, the collection represents the full history of photography. Works by renowned masters of the medium exist side-by-side with vernacular and scientific photographs. The collection also includes all applications of the medium, from artistic pursuit to commercial enterprise and from amateur pastime to documentary record, as well as all types of photographic processes, from daguerreotypes to digital prints. The museum's History of Photography Gallery is dedicated to rotating installations that demonstrate photography’s historical trajectory through photographs and cameras drawn from the collection. The selection of photographs changes twice a year, and each rotation offers new opportunities to engage with the museum's treasures. The History of Photography Gallery is sponsored in part by ESL Federal Credit Union.
About the George Eastman Museum
Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films and three million archival objects related to cinema, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active book publishing program, and its L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation’s graduate program (in collaboration with the University of Rochester) makes critical contributions to film preservation. For more information, visit eastman.org.