Subject: The 1896 Washington Salon & Art Photographic Exhibition

Instructional Resource

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Subject: The 1896 Washington Salon & Art Photographic Exhibition

Instructional Resource

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This collection of photographs was the first purchase of art photography for what is now the Photographic History Collection.

Keywords: Smithsonian history, art photography, pictorialism, pictorialist, Thomas Smillie, exhibition history

Three prestigious Washington, D.C., organizations played a major role in the establishment and acceptance of art photography in America. The Camera Club of the Capital Bicycle Club sponsored the 1896 Washington Salon and Art Photographic Exhibition. The Cosmos Club provided the exhibit space. And fifty of the salon's images were purchased to expand the Smithsonian Institution's national collection.

The online exhibition that explores this exhibition further can be found at https://americanhistory.si.edu/1896/index.htm.