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Truth, Lies, and Photographs

Mia Fineman, assistant curator, department of photographs, Metropolitan Museum of Art. The urge to modify camera images is as old as photography itself—only the methods have changed. Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop is the first major exhibition devoted to the history of manipulated photographs before the digital age. The exhibition, on view at the National Gallery of Art from February 17 to May 5, 2013, offers a provocative new perspective on the history of photography. In this lecture recorded on February 24, 2013, exhibition curator Mia Fineman traces photographic manipulation from the 1840s through the 1980s and shows that photography is—and always has been—a medium of fabricated truths and artful lies.