This exhibition examines the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts’ photography collection of more than 28,000 prints, negatives, and related materials. A unique resource for the study of fine art, social documentary, and professional photography, the collection was established in the mid-1960s to consolidate some of Harvard University’s holdings of significant historical photographs and to support teaching of the history and aesthetic practice of photography. Davis Pratt served as the collection’s founding curator from 1965 until 1972, when he became the first curator of photography at the Fogg Museum. In 1972 Harvard professor, sociologist, and photographer Barbara Norfleet succeeded Pratt at the Carpenter Center. Over her nearly 30 years at the helm, Norfleet challenged existing paradigms about the meaning and function of photography through innovative exhibitions, publications, programs, and teaching. In 2002, after her retirement, the Carpenter Center’s photography collection was placed on permanent deposit at the Fogg, with which it shares a common history and pedagogic mission. Organized by Michelle Lamunière, Charles C. Cunningham Sr. Assistant Curator of Photography, Fogg Museum, with the collaboration of Kate Palmer, curatorial assistant in the Department of Photographs, and Julia Dolan, a departmental intern in 2003. A brochure accompanies this exhibition.
The Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation has provided major support for work on the Carpenter Center Photograph Collection.