William L. Clements Library

Past Exhibit

Exhibit at the Great Hall of the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan.

Colonial Photography—Viewfinder on the Past

To enter online exhibit, click here

February 27– June 30, 2006

Although photography was not invented until well past the colonial era, this exhibit demonstrates how evidence of early America can be revealed through the study of 19th century photographs. These "viewfinders on the past" can be invaluable for historians who are re-imagining colonial America and for the conservation and restoration of historic sites.

The exhibit includes beautiful vintage photographs taken by both well-known professional and unidentified amateurs. They range from early salt prints from the 1850s, albumen prints of the Civil War era, and modern snapshots and photo albums. A particular emphasis is placed on the subject of colonial American architecture.