A History of Photography: Selections from the Museum’s Collection is a series of installations that trace the course of photography from its invention to the present day, showcasing important new acquisitions and treasured masterpieces.

Every six months, a new selection of photographs, drawn from the rich collection the Museum has built over the past half century, presents the medium’s history in a slightly different light. In this way, an increasingly complex picture of photographic history emerges, encouraging visitors to look closely, move slowly, and return for more.

Each new installation also includes a focused look at the work of a single artist held in depth by the Museum, plus a selection of photographically illustrated books highlighting the key role that publications have played in the development of the medium.

  • October 11, 2017–March 18, 2018
    Amalia Amaki, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Robert Frank, Lewis Hine, Eliot Porter, Man Ray, Paul Strand, and William Henry Fox Talbot are among the artists represented in this rotation. The installation also features a selection of photographs by Sandy Skoglund as well as books and periodicals tracing the development of color photography.
  • March 28–September 3, 2018
    This installation features photographs by artists including Margaret Bourke-White, Constantin Brancusi, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Yousuf Karsh, Heinrich Kühn, Richard Learoyd, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Carleton E. Watkins. Also on view is a selection of photographs by Joel Sternfeld, along with photographically illustrated books from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The next rotation opens in mid-September.

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.