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John Moran and Art Photography in America: 1855–1875

Mary C. Panzer, historian of photography and American culture. The first exhibition to focus exclusively on photographs made in the eastern half of the United States during the 19th century, East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography showcases some 175 works—from daguerreotypes and stereographs to albumen prints and cyanotypes—as well as several photographers whose efforts have often gone unheralded. Mary Panzer shares the story of one photographer, John Moran (1831-1902), brother to painter Thomas Moran, in this lecture held on May 14, 2017, at the National Gallery of Art. John Moran belonged to a network of Philadelphia-based amateur artists, historians, scientists, and collectors who recognized photography as a fine art in the years before the Civil War. Moran also appreciated the art of the newly developed stereograph. After 1865 the art of John Moran “disappeared” into collections of prints and historic documents, while Philadelphia photographers continued to lead the country in excellence for another generation. East of the Mississippi is on view from March 12 through July 16, 2017.