The 110 prints on view in Poetics of the Everyday: Amateur Photography, 1890–1970 were taken during an extraordinary period of time, primarily the first half of the 20th century, when portable cameras became affordable and available to millions of enthusiastic new amateur photographers. The makers of the prints in the exhibition are generally anonymous; in fact, most did not consider themselves to be artists. And yet, their work demonstrates the remarkable aesthetic heights that were achieved in this democratic medium through intention, experimentation, or accident.
Poetics of the Everyday: Amateur Photography, 1890–1970 is curated by Eric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs. The exhibition is on view in Galleries 234 and 235 from April 26 through August 25.