Currently not on view.
Dating to 1855, the collection tells the story of photography over two and a half centuries, helping us understand why and how pictures are made and the important role the medium has had in shaping visual culture across the world. Rightly celebrated for rich holdings in 19th-century Asian, Native American, maritime and early American photographs, it also includes modern and contemporary art and represents dozens of different techniques, from daguerreotypes to inkjet prints.
The earliest photograph in the collection is a daguerreotype of the Pont Neuf in Paris and is attributed to Vincent Chevalier. Made in or close to 1839, the year that photography was introduced to the public, it entered the collection in 1858. Since that time the photography holdings have grown to encompass a significant body of early works, including daguerreotypes by pioneering photographers Antoine Claudet and the Boston-based firm Southworth & Hawes, as well as a rich collection of portraits and landscapes made in New England. Several thousand 19th- and early 20th-century photographs made in China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia, including rare prints by Lai Afong, Felice Beato, Kusakabe Kimbei, Milton Miller and John Thomson, among others, place PEM's Asian photographs collection among the finest in the world. The collection also includes major archives such as those of Edwin Hale Lincoln, Lala Deen Dayal and Samuel Chamberlain, more than 100 extraordinary exhibition prints by Edward S. Curtis, over 200 rare Civil War photographs by Mathew Brady, and extensive holdings of 19th- and 20th-century photographs made in Oceania. Recent acquisitions include vintage prints by Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, Nicholas Nixon, Milton Rogovin and Edward Weston, as well as a choice group of chromogenic prints by celebrated Indian artist M.F. Husain. Contemporary works by artists Candice Breitz, Barbara Bosworth, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Peter Hutton, Marianne Mueller, Laura McPhee, Olivia Parker, Mark Ruwedel and Toshio Shibata round out the collection.
Self Portrait of Childhood, 1984
Museum purchase, 1999
America II, 1998
Gift of C. Franklin Sayre, 2007
Portrait of Charles W. Upham and Henry K. Oliver, about 1847
Gift of Dr. Henry K. Oliver, 1911.
Samoan Woman, 1880-1889
Gift of Arthur Sewall 2nd and Mrs. Loyall F. Sewall, 1960
A Royal Family, 1880-1905
Culture of the Streets, about 1977-1987
Chester and Davida Herwitz Collection, 1995.
Rock on a Pedestal of Ice, Tibet, about 1864
Museum purchase, 2001
Off the Beverly Shore, 1883-1888
Portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Henry P. Sturgis, about 1852
Active in the United Kingdom
Gift of Mrs. Henry P. Sturgis, 1892
Untitled, Two Women in Malaya, 1860-1869
Gift of Mrs. Sumner Pingree, 1936
House in China, 1950s
Museum purchase, 2005
Hancock, Massachusetts, 1930s
Japanese Junks, about 1898
Andamanese Group with Mr. Homfray, Their Keeper, Photographed at Calcutta, 1865
Haschelti-Yeibichai (Navajo), 1904
Gift of Charles Goddard Weld, 1906
Lower West Side, Buffalo, 1972-77
Gift of William and Marilyn Braunstein, 2008
Untitled, Japanese Waterfall, 1908
Museum purchase, 2001
Women and Children of the Fishing Port of Whitby, England, about 1890
Gift of the Concord Free Public Library, 1949
Pont Neuf, Paris, about 1839
Gift of John Burley, 1858
Indian Pipes, about 1929-1940
Gift of Linda Parker, 1988.
From the album Monotropa Uniflora
The Island Pagoda, 1873
Gift of the Estate of Mrs. Anthony Rives, 1973
From the album Foochow and the River Min
Mortar Schooner, Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, 1863
Provincetown, Ma, 1751, 1931 (printed in the early 1960s)
Gift of Joan and Clark Worswick, 2001.
Gift of James and Margie Krebs, 2008