The millions of photographs in the Museum's collections compose a vast mosaic of the nation's history. Photographs accompany most artifact collections. Thousands of images document engineering projects, for example, and more record the steel, petroleum, and railroad industries.
Some 150,000 images capture the history, art, and science of photography. Nineteenth-century photography, from its initial development by W. H. F. Talbot and Louis Daguerre, is especially well represented and includes cased images, paper photographs, and apparatus. Glass stereographs and news-service negatives by the Underwood & Underwood firm document life in America between the 1890s and the 1930s. The history of amateur photography and photojournalism are preserved here, along with the work of 20th-century masters such as Richard Avedon and Edward Weston. Thousands of cameras and other equipment represent the technical and business side of the field.
"Photography - Overview" showing 1 items.
- This photograph of a blue ash tree is one of forty-nine framed black and white photographic prints bequeathed to the Smithsonian by William F. Bucher of Washington, D.C. The collection represents a labor of love for Bucher, a cabinetmaker, who framed each photograph in wood of the same species as the tree depicted in the print. Bucher explained the philosophy behind his collection in a 1931 letter to the Museum: "'Old World' trees have gathered about them so much folklore and poetry, I thought it would be interesting to show by pictures and wood, that many of our American trees have attained by their own merits, an equal right to a place in the 'hall of fame.'"
- The tree depicted in this photograph was located in Kentucky and the image was made by the United States Forest Service. The frame is solid ash. It was displayed with Bucher's other framed photographs of living trees in a special exhibition, Our Trees and their Woods at the United States National Museum in 1931. The collection stands as a romantic reminder of America's diverse forestry resources and landscapes in the early years of the 20th century.
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- frame maker
- Bucher, William F.
- U.S. Forest Service
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- maker number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center