The Bigger Picture: Visual Archives and the Smithsonian
In 1975 The George Eastman House in Rochester, NY opened a small exhibition titled “New Topographics: Photographs Of A Man Altered Landscape,” that changed the way we think about photography and the art of landscape. While it launched a new photographic style and conceptual framework for a traditional artistic genre, it also re-affirmed photography’s powerful ability to describe the particular configuration of place. In some cases the camera is the tool of artists; in other cases of geologists, military strategists, or NASA mapmakers. On the occasion of a new tour of the original show (now jointly organized by the George Eastman House and the University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography), SPI has selected topographical photographs from a variety of Smithsonian archives. Click the image to start the slideshow.
See the full schedule for the exhibition on George Eastman House’s website.
Merry Foresta is the Former Director of the Smithsonian Photography Initiative.