May 2007

Western Photographs from a Private Collection, Savannah, GA

May 25 – June 11, 2007

The photographs being offered for sale belong to a Savannah private collector. When she was young her family took summer trips out West to the National Parks. The vast scenery always fascinated her and thus as an adult she started to collect photographs of the American West.

She focused on the 19th century photographs taken during the great expeditions of the 1860’s and 1870’s such as the King Survey, Wheeler Survey and Hayden Survey. These western explorations were authorized by Congress and their focus was the study of geology and the natural resources of the West. At this time photography was in its infant stages and photographers had to haul large glass plates by mule across the harsh Western landscape. At one point the collector had several of the original glass negatives which she has since donated to Brigham Young University.

The bulk of the collection was purchased in the 1970’s in New York City and Connecticut. Several trips were also made to George Eastman House in Rochester, New York to buy deaccessioned photographs. The collection includes such well-known figures as Bell, Curtis, Jackson, O’Sullivan, Russell, Savage, Vroman and Watkins.

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