Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas


  • Early Topographic and Documentary Photography
  • 09-Dec-1978 - 04-Feb-1979
  • South Balcony, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

From the introduction of the first photographic processes in 1839, photography was immediately recognized as an ideal medium for the accurate recoding of familiar and exotic scenes of the world. The broad scope of this exhibition, from views of ancient Egyptian ruins to the streets of Junction City, Kansas, is reflective of the great variety of cultures, architecture, and landscapes which have been documented by the camera.
By the first decades of the twentieth century, when the most recent photographs in this exhibit were made, many of the manipulative controls available to the photographer were being used self-consciously for the first time to create a new aesthetic of photography, and anew, intentionally subjective form of documentary photography. As a brief overview, this show presents and outline of photography in its infancy and early growth, as both the photographers and their audience came to understand the potential of the medium.