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BYU's Harold B. Lee Library displays a history of photography

Underneath the atrium of the Harold B. Lee Library on the Brigham Young University campus is “From Daguerreotype to Digital: The History of Photography,” a new exhibit depicting 170 years in the development of photography.

The exhibit, which has been in production for several years, features the work of several significant photographers, including Ansel Adams, John Telford, George Edward Anderson and William Henry Talbot.

The exhibit is housed in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections on the first floor of the Lee Library. The exhibit is free of charge and will be open until May 2010 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

“During the conception process of 'Daguerreotype to Digital,' we had to decide what form the exhibit would take,” said Tom Wells, curator of photography in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. “As the exhibit is at BYU, we elected to create an exhibit that would serve as an educational experience, a foundation on the origin and evolution of photography.”

As viewers move through the exhibit, they can trace the path of photography from the daguerreotype to the panoramic picture, learning more about each process from the informational panels on the wall.

Wells' personal favorites are the salt prints created by William Henry Fox Talbot. “He was the master who invented the process that we have refined and continue to use today,” said Wells.

In addition to Talbot’s salt prints, the most valuable pieces in the exhibit include a portrait of Brigham Young circa 1853, Ansel Adams’ “Face of Half Dome,” a tintype photo of mountain man Kit Carson and the panoramic cast photo of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which mysteriously shows actor Jimmy Stewart and director Frank Capra on both sides of the photo.

"The exhibit will be open on Nov. 28, so Cougars and Utes alike may visit the exhibit before the big game commences," said Wells.

For more information, contact Roger Layton, (801) 422-6687.

Writer: Autum Buys


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