The University of Tulsa and McFarlin Library’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives is proud to announce it’s latest exhibit titled “History of Photography: Culture and Interpretation.” Beginning on September 10th and extending through December 21st, 2015, the exhibit examines the history of photography technology and its use in recording and interpreting culture, specifically Native American culture.
Photography has been part of world culture ever since the earliest images made in the late 1820s. Ranging from personal image making to trade craft of the professional photographer, ‘taking pictures’ has sparked a nearly two century technological development of processes and equipment, from Nicéphore Niépce’s first successful image in 1927, to telephone images to modern social media, and the transformation is not slowing down.
Since its inception has been a medium for interpretive depictions of reality. Although the photographer’s role of “invisible artist” is important, the photographer is often left out of the interpretation of the work.
These images, taken predominantly from the immense collections of The Department of Special Collections and University Archives, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa, present both the development of the technology, and how mainstream culture and that of native peoples have interpreted native people though photographic expression.
Some of these images are not specifically of native peoples, but come from the collections in order to give a hint of how non-natives people in those periods are being presented in the technology of the time.
The remainder of the images are of natives taken by the dominant culture, for reasons that include commercial distribution; as well as some images made by natives for natives. While viewing each image, please remember that the photographer has made this image for a reason, and we ought to wonder what the photographer is trying to say.
The Department of Special Collections and University Archives cordially invites the TU community to visit this exciting exhibit, curated by Librarian of Special Collections I. Marc Carlson. The department is located on the 5th floor of McFarlin Library and its hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM..