Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Photography and the American West have a lot in common. Both were "discovered" by Europeans in recent centuries, despite the fact that neither was exactly new. The camera obscura existed in the ancient world; photography only came into being when chemicals were invented that allowed images to be fixed to metal plates or paper. And, as curator Eva Respini points out in the catalog to MOMA's "Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West," the area west of the Mississippi River had been occupied for thousands of years. It was only named "the West by the most recent people to settle there: Americans."
Above: Felling a Fir Tree, 51 Feet in Circumference, by Darius Kinsey, 1906