More than 4,500 photographic prints by over 450 different photographers are housed at the Amon Carter Museum, which has made the museum one of the major American photography repositories in the country. The photograph collection spans the photographic art medium's history, dating back to the earliest daguerreotypes made in America to inkjet prints made today. The photographs on display often change as a result of the fragile nature of photographs.
Just months after the Amon Carter Museum opened in 1961, the photograph collection began with three portraits that were gifted by Dorothea Lange of Charles Russell. The portraits were given to museum as a complement to the collection of sculptures and paintings by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell that the museum's possessed at its founding. The collection has grown to demonstrate the central role of photography in documenting the history and culture of the nineteenth century in the United States, as well as photography's development as an important and influential form of art from the 1900's to present day.
The Amon Carter's photograph collection also contains numerous American West landscapes from the nineteenth century, including works by Carleton Watkins, Timothy O'Sullivan, and William Henry Jackson. Also represented well are Native American portraits, including Laura Gilpin's extensive photographic documentation of the Navajo Nation, over 1,400 photographs that were originally compiled for the Bureau of American Ethnology, and The North American Indian, a monumental twenty volume project by Edward S. Curtis. Collections of prints and negatives assembled by figures such as Fred and Jo Mazzulla, Mary Everhard, Helen Post, and E.A. Brininstool show the regional histories of economic development and settlement throughout the American West, acting as a helpful aide for scholars of American studies and photography. Photo: Amon Carter Museum of American Art
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