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Adventures in Photography: Gifts from Harvey S. Shipley Miller

May 9–August 2, 2015

This intriguing selection of images, which includes portraits by Nadar, Horst P. Horst, and Julia Margaret Cameron, showcases the discriminating eye of collector Harvey S. Shipley Miller. This exhibition celebrates a recent gift by one of the leading American photography collectors of the 1970s and 1980s, Harvey S. Shipley Miller. The diverse works on view include rare early pictures, major examples of the Pictorialist art movement by figures such as Peter Henry Emerson and George Seeley, and a broad range of twentieth-century art and vernacular photographs.

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Shipley Miller formed the collection with his then partner, J. Randall Plummer, in the 1970s, when they were among a handful of serious photography collectors in the United States. They approached the subject enthusiastically, expressing both a scholarly interest in the history of the medium and a personal desire to acquire images they loved. Remarkable for its quality and breadth, the collection includes both masterworks of modern art and ephemera as well as curious images from the fields of science, journalism, and fashion. The gift of more than four hundred photographs encompasses delightful pictures from every aspect of photographic production. The selection on view in the exhibition offers a unique perspective on the evolution of photography, and is a wonderful testament to the pleasures and possibilities of collecting.

Main Building


Peter Barberie, The Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center; and Nathaniel Stein, Horace W. Goldsmith Curatorial Fellow in Photography

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