NOMA’s Once-in-a-Lifetime Exhibit

From a press release

Pictures of the American West have dominated the canon of 19th-century American landscape photography. Although many photographers worked in the eastern half of the United States, their pictures, with the exception of Civil War images, have seldom been exhibited. Now, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will present East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography from October 6, 2017 to January 7, 2018.

In association with NOMA, this landmark exhibition, co-organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, is the first to exclusively explore a vivid chapter of America’s photographic history—19th-century American landscape photography made east of the Mississippi river. These photos of the eastern half of the United States helped evolving mythologies of the American wilderness, revealed the impact of the Civil War on the physical landscape, and played an important role in industrialization and environmental preservation.

“We are delighted to present this ground-breaking exhibition featuring some of the earliest photographs of eastern sites, which showcase an extraordinary time in American history” said Susan Taylor, The Montine McDaniel Freeman Director of NOMA.

East of the Mississippi brings together over 150 works—daguerreotypes, salt prints, albumen prints, stereographic images, and paintings ranging from 1839 to 1899 presented in six sections; expressing a diverse set of aesthetic, moral, topographic, and instrumental concerns. It includes some of the oldest known photographs ever made in the United States, many that have never before been exhibited. Because of their fragility, and sensitivity to light, the exhibition presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to examine, first hand, many of these important and beautiful records of American history.

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