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Oldest and largest photography museum in the United States, located in Rochester, NY. Since it opened its doors to the public in November 1949, George Eastman House has played a pivotal role in shaping and expanding the field of American photography. George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak Company, never knew his home would become a museum; he bequeathed the mansion where he lived from 1905 until 1932 to the University of Rochester to serve as the residence of its president. In 1946 a board of trustees was formed to establish George Eastman House as an independent, non-profit museum, a memorial to Eastman and his advancements in photographic technology.

Working under director Oscar Solbert, a retired US Army general and former Kodak executive, was the museum’s first curator, Beaumont Newhall. Newhall transformed the museum from one primarily concerned with the technical applications of photography to one emphasizing its artistic development. The museum became an international centre of scholarship, and in ...

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Michal Raz-Russo

Gallery in New York dedicated to photography founded in 1971. It was the first commercial gallery in New York City devoted exclusively to exhibiting the contemporary work of living photographers. LIGHT Gallery was the brainchild of Tennyson Schad, a consultant attorney whose wife, Fern Schad, was a former picture editor at Life magazine. Schad enlisted Harold Jones, then a curator at the George Eastman House, as LIGHT’s influential first director. The gallery opened at a momentous time when a viable market for photographs was developing, museums were acquiring and exhibiting photography at an unprecedented pace, and a range of artists brought photography into the mainstream of contemporary art.

In the formative years of 1971 to 1976, LIGHT Gallery occupied the third floor of 1018 Madison Avenue in New York City, sharing the building with several other notable galleries. At its opening, the gallery’s stable of artists included Thomas Barrow (...

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Matico Josephson

American photography gallery. The first commercially successful photography gallery in New York, founded in 1969 by Lee D. Witkin, and originally located at 237 East 60th Street. Witkin was briefly the only specialized photography dealer in New York. Although this monopoly came to an end in 1971, the gallery played an important role in developing the market for photographic prints in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Witkin Gallery showed a broad range of work by photographers Ansel Adams, Edward Steichen, Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Imogen Cunningham, Harry Callahan, André Kertész, Brassaï, and Jacques-Henri Lartigue, whom Lee Witkin sought out in the United States and in Europe. Witkin did not confine his efforts to the older generation, nor to any single genre. The gallery soon hosted encounters between photographers, collectors, and museum curators. By the mid-1970s, Witkin had also shown the work of avant-garde photographers Duane Michals, Les Krims, Jerry Uelsmann, and Lee Friedlander, photojournalistic work by W. Eugene Smith, Marion Palfi (...