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What makes a photographic masterpiece? It might be a perfectly balanced still-life, bathed in natural light. It might be a stirring portrait or a captured moment of history or a sublime landscape. Great photographs can intrigue us, astound us, mystify us, move us.

The photographs in this exhibition--all drawn from a private collection--share a special, intangible quality that sets them apart from the billions of other camera images taken over the last 168 years.

Click on any photograph for a full-size image and more information.

William Henry Fox Talbot: The Footman.

The first photograph on paper of a human figure, 1840

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Unidentified Photographer: The Telegrapher

Daguerreotype, circa 1853

 

Unidentified Photographer: Uncle George & Gus

Daguerreotype, circa 1853

 

Alexander Hesler: Abraham Lincoln, 1860

 

Edward Anthony: Broadway on a Rainy Day

Albumen stereoscopic photograph, 1860

 

Bisson Freres: Glacier des Bossons

Albumen print, 1860

George N. Barnard: Nashville From the Capitol

Albumen print, 1865

David B. Woodbury: Mrs. Henry's House

Albumen print, 1861

 

Masterworks Part Two ---- Masterworks Part Three --- Museum Home Page



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