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Found 6,299 Collections


Photographer: Hahn, Betty


This is a collection of work by Betty Hahn and a portrait of her in the Photographic History Collection.

Keywords: gum bichromate, photographs on fabric, hand-stitching, feminist art, women and art, experimental photography
NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: People with dolls


This is a selection of photographs from the Photographic History Collection.

Keywords: girls, dolls, Christmas gift

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NMAH Photographic History Collection

Cameras and Apparatus: Novelty and Souvenir Cameras


This is a small sampling of toy and souvenir camera from the Photographic History Collection.

For specific cameras, search 

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: Pets


This an assortment of photographs of people and their pets, including a few mascots.

Keywords: cat, cats, dog, dogs, pet, pets, people and their pets, children and pets, girls, boys, mascot

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NMAH Photographic History Collection

Cameras and Apparatus: Large Format Cameras


This is a small sampling of view cameras from the Photographic History Collection. 

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NMAH Photographic History Collection

Photographer: Caponigro, John Paul


This is a small sampling from more than fifty photographs and objects related to photographer John Paul Caponigro that are included in the Photographic History Collection. The collection represents the scope of Caponigro's relationship with photography and digital tools, including some early equipment (an Epson printer he beta-tested, Photoshop 3.0), demonstrations of thought processes (pastel color studies, pen and ink composition studies), postcards (sent, unsent, iPhone camera used to manipulate images), and final works on paper and metal. One work is a collaboration with his father, photographer, Paul Caponigro. Also of note, is Caponigro's portrait of Jerry Uelsmann (2005.0096.05).

Copyright held by John Paul Caponigro.

Keywords: digital photography, manipulated images, digital print, pigment print, dye sublimation on aluminum, postcards, Georgia O'Keefe, Jerry Uelsmann

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NMAH Photographic History Collection

WWI Artifacts

To discover how we evolved in weaponry and industrial weaponry.

Niko Rodarte Perez

Marvels of Greece and Rome

The Greeks were famous for their skill at building,not only temples and palaces, but theatres and arenas too. They were also marvellous sculptors. The Romans copied Greek buildings and made improvements. The Romans imitated the Greeks in making lifelike figures in bronze,marble,gold and ivory. My collection contains buildings and sculptures from the Greek and Roman world and the stories behind them.

Simona-Elena Humelnicu-Christofi

Engaging Families through Art and Technology Programs: "Illuminating the Self"

This collection details an art and community engagement project that the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access did with educators from the National Portrait Gallery and the Fairfax County Family Literacy Program. It includes assets and resources designed to help teachers, museum educators, and community-based informal learning educators recreate the program as is, or design their own, based on the specific needs of their classroom or learning community. 

"Illuminating the Self / Illuminándonos" was a five-day bilingual program in which pairs of immigrant mothers and their middle school-aged children worked together to learn about portraiture from the 2016 exhibition of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition winning portraits. First we talked about portraiture in general, and then focused the discussion on light and shadow. Next, students took photographic portraits of each other and chose one to recreate. We projected the photographs in black and white onto a wall, and had the students trace the outlines of their photographs on their blank drawing paper. They they worked with charcoals to fill in their portraits and refine their drawings. Participants also visited the Outwin exhibition. Finally, their portraits were displayed at the National Portrait Gallery's Hispanic Heritage Month Family Day.

Program surveys indicated improved literacy, technology, and communication skills to share heritage, traditions, and talents; increased sense of empowerment and self-esteem, strengthened parent-child relationships and community bonds, and creation of a core of mentors. One mother reported that before the program she would never have entered an art museum because she wouldn't have known what to do, but that now she would not be able to pass by without stopping in. As well, several family participants have returned to the Smithsonian asking to volunteer at future Smithsonian events.

This program received Federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.


Philippa Rappoport

Harlem Heroes

Shantelle Jones-Williams

Art and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

Shantelle Jones-Williams

Ekphrastic Poetry

Shantelle Jones-Williams

A House Divided: Reconstruction

Political leaders and parties in the tense time after the Civil War proposed various plans for Reconstruction. By observing artwork of this period, students will learn how these plans affected the South (and North) and relationships between people of different races and geographic regions.

You will find guiding questions included in the additional text section of each artwork.

Shantelle Jones-Williams

Formats and Processes: Panoramic Cameras


This is a sampling of cameras, photographs and documents related to panoramas and panoramic photography.  Because of their scale, panorama images are often difficult to photograph. The Photographic History Collection has many more images than what is represented here.

Keywords: Panorama, panorama photography equipment, Friedrich von Martens, panorama photographs, photographic panorama Megaskop, Frederick Mueller

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NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: The Photographer's Shadow


This is a sampling of photographs in which the photographer's shadow is included in the image.

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NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: Multiple Exposures


This is a collection of photographs that were accidentally and intentionally exposed two or more times.

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Keywords: Double exposure, triple exposure, trick photography, manipulated photography, multiple exposure, accidental exposure, accidental photography

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Athabascan Potlatch Values

Coming soon!

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska

Types of Slopes

Identify as many slopes as you can from each of the 10 images. There are 4 types of slopes: positive, negative,  no slope, and undefined. Type your answers in the comments section of Google Classroom under the question. 

Misty Smith

Subject: Self Portraits and Selfies


This is a sampling of photographic self-portraits. 

Professional and amateur photographers have been turning the camera on themselves since photography started.  There are a number of strategies and tools that professional and amateur photographers have used, including mirrors, cable releases, timing devices, and simply turning the camera around at arm's length.  Cell phones now allow almost effortless self-portraits, known as "selfies."  

Keywords: self-portrait, self portrait, selfie, bulb release, string release, timed portrait, cable release, reflection in mirror

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NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: Early Motion Picture Collection by Gatewood W. Dunston


Gatewood W. Dunston (1908-October 18, 1956) was a motion picture projectionist and later, a collector and scholar of the history of motion picture technology who bequeathed his important collection to the National Museum of American History.

Keywords: motion picture history, motion picture equipment, motion picture apparatus, motion picture images, motion picture collecting, history of collectors, movie theater history, motion picture advertising, motion picture props, mutoscope, lantern slide, motion picture film

The Dunston accession, number 212314, included 864 items, comprised primarily of 294 theater slides, 162 stereo views, 150 lantern slides, 157 films, 59 early projectors, 6 editing machines, 6 posters, over 100 photographs and a mutoscope reel. Additionally, Dunston left his correspondence relating to the collection, which offers a look at this formative period in the historiography of motion pictures. The films, many of which were on nitrate, were transferred to the Library of Congress in the 1960s, but the remainder of the material was cataloged and is found at numbers 4994-5099 in the Photographic History Collection. The Dunston collection at the National Museum of American History remains one of the most complete and important showing the evolution and history of the motion picture projector, as well as the motion picture industry and art.

Dunston worked the projection booth at the Granby and Lowe’s Theaters in Norfolk, Virginia, where he lived until his death. He was a friend of the early Western star  and actor, William S. Hart, and obtained a number of Hart films, posters and even a Civil War-era pistol used by the actor in his films. It appears that Dunston began seriously researching and collecting movie cameras, projectors and memorabilia in the early 1940s, through correspondence with film historians Merritt Crawford and Terry Ramsaye, early projectionist Francis Doublier and a number of movie personalities and machine manufacturers. He was disheartened by the deaths of many motion picture pioneers in the 1930s and 40s, and by his perception that the history of motion picture technology was fading into obscurity. Dunston collected 35mm and 16mm copies of notable silent films, old projectors and cameras, glass theater slides, a small number of mutoscope items and editing equipment as well as stereo views and optical toys. As his health deteriorated in the early 1950s, he was forced to sell off many of his films, which were on nitrate and posed a fire hazard, and he wrote a will that stipulated his collection be left to the Smithsonian National Museum’s Section of Photography, now NMAH’s Photographic History Collection.

This finding aid is one in a series documenting the PHC’s Early Cinema Collection [COLL.PHOTOS.000018]. The cinema-related objects cover the range of technological innovation and popular appeal that defined the motion picture industry during a period in which it became the premier form of mass communication in American life, roughly 1885-1930. See also finding aids for Early Sound Cinema [COLL.PHOTOS.000040], Early Color Cinema [COLL.PHOTOS.000039], Early Cinema Film and Ephemera [COLL.PHOTOS.000038] and Early Cinema Equipment [COLL.PHOTOS.000037].

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Photographer: Leipzig, Arthur


This a collection of photographs by Arthur Leipzig.

This selection includes photographs of swamp loggers and swamp logging in the Everglades. He was on assignment for Argus Men's Magazine in 1954.

This selection includes two photographs of people using cameras, Zero Mostel, Joseph Welsh, and  Ernest Rice McKinney.

Copyright Arthur Leipzig

For additional work by Leipzig, search

NMAH Photographic History Collection

Subject: September 11, 2001 related photography


This collection was formed beginning in 2001 and  over the next decade, though the PHC is still actively collecting photographs related to September 11, 2001.

There are a  variety of formats by a variety of types of photographers that captured day of events, the days following, and reflections on the experiences.

September 11, 2001 Photographic History Scope Note

Blog: Photographers and Their Stories by Michelle Delaney.

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NMAH Photographic History Collection

Exploring Multiple Perspectives with American Art

We started by doing a close reading of Walt Whitman's "I Hear America Singing," followed by an analysis of two paintings using Project Zero Thinking Routines:

  1. Iceman Crucified #4, by Ralph Fasanella, using See, Think, Wonder
  2. Braceros, by Domingo Ulloa, using Step In, Step Out, Step Back

Returning to the poem, consider how different people we identified in the two paintings might react to the poem. Next, choose two perspectives from any of the texts (written or visual) we've looked at, and use the Two Voice Poem template to compare their points of view on work in America.

Reflection Question: What do we gain by considering multiple perspectives on an issue?

This collection was created for the 2019 CATE annual convention in Burlingame, California. 

Phoebe Hillemann

Photographer: Rushton, Charles


Charles Ruston is an American photographer that made portraits of New Mexico-based photographers between the years of 1980 and 1994.  This particular collection consists of thirty-eight prints.  The collection includes photographers Tom Barrows, Van Deren Coke, Betty Hahn, David Michael Kennedy, Patrick Nagatani, Beaumont Newhall, and Joel-Peter Witkin.  The earliest print in this collection is of Manuel Carrillo in 1982, and the last piece added to the collection is of Holly Roberts in 1994. 

Copyright Charles Rushton

Keywords: photographs of photographers, people with cameras
Rushton chose this particular project after attending a Zone VI workshop offered by Fred Picker in Vermont in 1980.  While at the workshop Rushton was given specific advice to pick a topic and stick to it instead of switching random topics every day.  This was when Rushton had the idea to photograph artists and photographers upon returning home to New Mexico.  With help of photographer friend, Bob Hooten, Rushton was able to obtain the names of  photographers that suited the parameters of his project.  After a few years Rushton sold some of his prints to the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History for their collection of portraits of New Mexico Artists and expressed interest in seeing his future work.  With the permission of the museum, Rushton used the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History name to help him gain influence and access to more famous photographers such as Beaumont Newhall.  
Rushton studied photography under Fred Picker, Oliver Gagliani (depicted in the collection), and Arnold Newman (depicted in the collection).  

NMAH Photographic History Collection
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