Roger Fenton, The Valley of the Shadow of Death (detail), 1855. Salt print from collodion-on-glass negative. Collection of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg.
The nearly 250 iconic pictures in this exhibition are organized by these official categories, illuminating the possibilities and challenges that amateur and professional photographers faced while experimenting with their new medium. In each section, you’ll see how early photographers both embraced and questioned the conventions of the dominant tradition; how technical limitations hindered their attempts to imitate painting; and how, in the process, they invented new ways of seeing the world, setting the stage for our modern visual culture.