Not an Ostrich: And Other Images From America’s Library is a collection of nearly 500 images handpicked from the Library of Congress by curator Anne Wilkes Tucker. Chosen from the more than 14 million photographs housed at the library, many of the images are being presented in public for the first time.
The pictures, which span three centuries of photography (1800s, 1900s, 2000s) reflect America’s stories and also reveal the evolution of photography from daguerreotypes, introduced to the world in 1839, to contemporary digital images.
The exhibition’s name, Not an Ostrich, refers to an image in the show of actress Isla Bevan holding a goose at the 41st Annual Poultry Show at Madison Square Garden in 1930. The photograph hints at the unusual and unexpected items collected at the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library, over its 218-year history. The work of 148 photographers – including Danny Lyon, Dorothea Lange and Donna Ferrato – is displayed both physically and digitally.
“What a pleasure and an honor it was to work with the Library of Congress selecting these photographs. Glamour, worship, invention, bravery, humor, cruelty and love – this collection of photographs preserves all examples of our humanity as well as chronicling America’s history in extraordinary photographs. The Library is an inexhaustible trove available for anyone to explore,” said Tucker, Curator Emerita of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Not an Ostrich runs through September 9, 2018 at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, California.
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