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Massachusetts Institute of Technology  /  MIT Museum
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Daguerre's American Legacy: Photographic Portraits (1840-1900) from the Wm. B. Becker Collection
April 18, 2014 - January 4, 2015

Three Men with Fish and Lobster

Unidentified photographer, Three Men with Fish and Lobster, tintype, ca. 1890

Provocative, thoughtful and sometimes haunting, the portraits in this exhibition of 19th century Americans portray men, women and children during an era when new photographic technologies were just becoming accessible and popular.

On loan from the collection of Wm. B. Becker, a noted collector of early photography, are 170 daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes and albumen prints, as well as several dozen cameras and other artifacts. An illustrated publication is available at the MIT Museum Store.

Related Programs:

Daguerre's American Legacy: Gallery Talk, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Join collector Bill Becker, lender to the exhibition, as he discusses daguerreotype portraiture and other aspects of early photography as well as his motives as a photography collector. Free with Museum admission. Limited tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 2:00 p.m.

Collecting Photography, Friday, Sept. 19, 6-8:30 p.m.
Delve into the motivations and challenges of collecting early photography and explore early photographic printing techniques. This round table discussion features collectors William B. Becker, Greg French, and Dan Colucci. Moderators: Francois Brunet, Professor of American Studies and the History of Photography at the University of Paris 7 Diderot and Gary Van Zante, Curator of Architecture and Design at the MIT Museum.

Note, all photos of this show appear on our website courtesy of Wm. B. Becker Collection / PhotographyMuseum.com.

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From the Exhibition

Machine with Breath, Arthur Ganson, 5000 Moving Parts

Unidentified photographer
Slave Boy Brought to

ambrotype, ca. 1855

To Conjugate, Anne Lilly, 5000 Moving Parts

Geo H. Dresser
Native American with
  Blonde Baby

albumen print, after 1885

Jeremiah Gurney, Woman with Kepi and False Beard, daguerreotype, ca. 1858.

Jeremiah Gurney
Woman with Kepi and
  False Beard

daguerreotype, ca. 1858