The Art of American Snapshots, 1888-1978: from the collection of Robert E. Jackson
October 7—December 31, 2007

This exhibition of approximately 200 snapshot photographs chronicles the evolution of snapshot photography from 1888, when George Eastman first introduced the Kodak camera and roll film, through the 1970s. During this time it became possible for anyone to be a photographer, and snapshots not only had a profound impact on American life and memory, but they also influenced fine art photography. Organized chronologically, the exhibition focuses on the changes in culture and technology that enabled and determined the look of snapshots. It examines the influence of popular imagery, as well as the use of recurring poses, viewpoints, framing, camera tricks, and subject matter, noting how they shift over time. By presenting the history of snapshot photography instead of concentrating on thematic subject matter, the exhibition and accompanying catalogue mark a new approach to the genre. The exhibition is drawn from the collection of Robert E. Jackson and from recent gifts Mr. Jackson made to the National Gallery of Art.

Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.


Sponsor: The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.


Schedule: National Gallery of Art, Washington, October 7–December 31, 2007; Amon Carter Museum, February 16–April 27, 2008

Sponsor: The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Trellis Fund and The Ryna and Melvin Cohen Family Foundation.