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Fort Darling, James River, Virginia

Mathew Brady (American, 1823–1896) Fort Darling, James River, Virginia, with Confederate ram sunk to block river, 1862. Unmounted stereoscopic albumen silver print. 2004.71.94

Developed and Undeveloped: Photographic Landscapes

October 9, 2010 – March 27, 2011

At once powerful and vulnerable, the natural environment is alternately portrayed as an object of adoration and a victim of civilization in Developed and Undeveloped: Photographic Landscapes. The exhibition features a diverse selection of over 35 photographs of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. From the pristine western views of Ansel Adams to the scarred quarries of Edward Burtynsky, the exhibition presents a variety of approaches to framing the landscape, with scenes of unspoiled wilderness contrasted with sites bearing evidence of human intervention.

In the 19th century photographers played a decisive role in preservationist movements, and their descendants continue to shed light on the precarious condition of the planet. Drawn from the collections of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the Paul Sack Trust, and Charles and Diane Frankel, the exhibition also includes works by Mathew Brady, Carleton Watkins, Robert Adams, Shi Guorui, and Michael Light.