The Smithsonian Institution's "Section of Photography"

A Century of Photographic Exhibits

Smillie researched the Smithsonian's first large-scale long-term permanent exhibition on the history of photography: it opened in 1913. Visitors saw prized items such as the first camera in the United States used by Samuel Morse, early patent models, and examples of the earliest photography, including daguerreotypes and calotypes. Large permanent displays related the history of photography first in the Arts and Industries building and later in the National Museum American History building until 1992 when the Hall of Photography was dismantled for museum renovations. Smaller, temporary exhibits on loan have come to various Smithsonian galleries via invitations to professional and amateur photographers as well as camera clubs and societies around the country.

History of photography exhibitHistory of photography exhibit, Arts and Industries Building, ca. 1914
History of photography exhibitHistory of photography exhibit, Arts and Industries Building, ca. 1914
History of photography exhibitHistory of photography exhibit, Arts and Industries Building, ca. 1914
Richard Avedon exhibit1962 Richard Avedon exhibit, Arts and Industries Building
Russell Lee exhibit1965 Russell Lee exhibit, National Museum of American History
Hall of Photography exhibitHigh-wheel bicycle with mounted camera, 1972 Hall of Photography exhibit, National Museum of American History
Hall of Photography exhibitDancing woman, by Edweard Muybridge, 1972 Hall of Photography exhibit, National Museum of American History
"Platinum Women" exhibit1981 "Platinum Women" exhibit, National Museum of American History

Step Left to see the previous panel in detail. Step Back to see the whole wall again. Step Right to see the next photograph in detail.