Overview: This exhibition had a three-fold purpose. The first was to acquaint the National Gallery of Art staff with a sample of the treasures available for study in the Photographic Archives. The second was to remind us all that our perception of a work of art is more often than not based on a reproduction—a print, before the advent of photography—and although these reproductions are indispensable tools for our research, the actual object must never be forgotten. The third goal of the exhibition was to remind us how much contemporary taste colors perception. Many of the artists we admire now will probably one day be regarded with the same amusement given to us by the paintings of the Parisian Salon of 1883.
Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art. Ruth Philbrick, curator of photographic archives, was curator.