A Successful Endeavor

American and foreign photography journals reported the 1896 Washington Salon was an admirable attempt at establishing a national salon, but Washington, D.C., did not host another salon. This may be a tribute to its success: the effort sparked such interest that the more established art centers of Philadelphia, New York and Boston began vying to host both national and international salons.

But the Washington Salon and Art Photographic Exhibition launched the country's amateur art photography collection and helped convince the American cultural establishment that photography could be considered an art form.

Catalogue of prints,1898 The American Institute Photographic Salon, 1899 The Second Philadelphia Photographic Salon, 1899
Salon catalog covers

							Smithsonian Institute
					Office of Assistant Secretary in charge of
							U.S. National Museum
Mr. Charles Richard Dodge,
			Chairman of the Washington Photographic Salon, Washington D.C.
Dear Mr. Dodge
      I am very much gratified to learn that it has been decided to hold a second
exhibition of art photography in this city, under the name of the National Photo-
graphic Salon of 1897.  the exhibition of 1896 must be regarded as the most im-
pressive exhibition ever held in this country.  It has demonstrated the right of
photography to a place among the fine arts, and was suggestive of possibilities in 
the future which are by no means generally appreciated.
     Such exhibitions are useful not only to the photographers themselves, but to all 
those who have occasion to avail themselves of the possabilities of photography in 
the decorative and graphic arts, in the illistration of books and in the sciences.
     I am desirous of utilizing the coming exhibition for the purpose of extending the 
photographic collection in the National Museum, and therefore authorize you to 
announce that a number of the best photographs there exhibited will be perchased.
		very truly yours,			G. Brown Goode
     Washington, June 5, 1896					Assistant Secretary

     We quite approve of the above proposition, which is so similar to the 
suggestion made in our account of the 1896 Salon.  It should act as a 
better stimulus to stir up amateurs to send in their finest work than the
award of prizes, etc.

Smithsonian Assistant Secretary G. Brown Goode's letter to Charles Richards Dodge regarding a planned--but never realized--second Washington Salon appeared in the American Amateur Photographer in July 1896.

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