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Dawn’s Early Light: The First Fifty Years of American Photography

Event Details

Dawn’s Early Light: The First Fifty Years of American Photography

Time: January 4, 2012 to May 4, 2012
Location: Cornell University Library
Street: 201 Cornell Library
City/Town: Ithaca, NY 14853-5301
Website or Map: http://www.library.cornell.ed…
Phone: (607) 255-4144
Event Type: exhibition
Organized By: Cornell University Library
Latest Activity: Jan 4, 2012

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Event Description

Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections invites you to an exhibition about the first half-century of photography in America, from its invention in Europe in 1839 through the 1880s. During this period photography was transformed from an expensive and cumbersome novelty into a universal medium that allowed for a shared American experience.

Photography changed the course of American history. It provided the window through which citizens observed the Civil War and Westward expansion. It both documented and enabled far-reaching cultural transformations, such as the rise of a middle class and the advent of mass media. The new visual medium gave Americans a more intimate view of far-away people and places, and a sense of greater connection to their fellow citizens and national leaders. This exhibition presents a selection of photographs and related artifacts about the technological development of photography during its first fifty years—from daguerreotypes to gelatin prints—while illuminating the tumultuous historic currents that shaped a nation.

The materials on view represent highlights from a magnificent gift to Cornell University by The Loewentheil Family Photographic Collection. This exhibition has been funded by generous support from the Loewentheil Family and the Stephen ’58, MBA ’59 and Evalyn Edwards ’60 Milman Exhibition Fund.

The Samuel L. Hirshland Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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