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American Images from the Library of Congress
Photographs printed by Michael Poster
Exhibit preparation by Michael Poster, Ivana Pavelka and Rolfe Ross
September 3 - September 30
Opening Reception September 5, 6:00 - 9:00pm

These visual records of our collective history, are from the Library of Congress archive in Washington, DC. The Library maintains and safeguards images from some of the most important collections of photographic documents created since the camera was invented. Pictures from the Farm Security Administration by Walker Evans, Marion Post Wolcott, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, and others focus on life during the time of the dust bowl and the New Deal.

Straightforward, compelling images by sociologist-photographer Lewis Wickes Hine exposed the often brutal conditions faced by Americans, particularly children in mines, factories, mills and on the streets of our turn-of-the-century cities. The photographs were made for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) which donated its collection to the LOC in 1954.

In the mid 1890s, Edward Sheriff Curtis began photographing local Puget Sound Native Americans. A decade later Curtis embarked on a thirty-year mission he described as an effort "to form a comprehensive and permanent record of all the important tribes of the United States and Alaska that still retain to a considerable degree their...customs and traditions." When Curtis died in 1952, his lifework with Native Americans had all but faded into obscurity. Rediscovered in the 1960s and 1970s, Curtis's photographic work is now recognized as one of the most significant records of Native culture ever produced.

The George Grantham Bain and National Photo Company Collections represent a variety of photographs documenting sports, theater, politics, crime and suffrage. The pictures offer a rich view of American life in the early 20th century.

In an unprecedented project, photographers Matthew Brady, Alexander Gardner, James Gardner, Timothy O'Sullivan and others documented the horrors of the War Between the States and its aftermath.

All the pictures in American Images from the Library of Congress are worthy as works of art. Equally important: they carry the ubiquitous "no known restrictions" label assigned by the LOC. This means you can purchase fine art quality prints from various sources or even download image files from LOC.GOV and make your own prints. The images belong to all of us.