Maryland photography exhibit includes Keller photos
By KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer
Photography in Maryland goes back to the beginning of photography in America, said William F. Stapp, guest curator of "Maryland in Focus: A Photographic History, 1839-2000."
The exhibition, one of the first to survey the evolution of American photography in the context of one state, opens tonight at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore.
The historical society's collection is "very, very substantial," said Stapp, a photographic historian, adjunct professor of photography and independent curator. Early images, including a rare daguerreotype portrait made about 1840 by Henry Fitz Jr. in Baltimore's first photographic studio, will be on display. There will be professional and amateur photographs, as well as snapshot albums.
Photographs by Alexander Gardner taken two days after the battle of Antietam are included. Shown at Mathew Brady's New York gallery in October 1862, they were the first photographs ever seen of American war dead. It changed and legitimized the showing of work that was not an idealized vision of the world. Photography always has been a visual conscience, Stapp said.