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Group Description

Timothy H. O'Sullivan (1840–1882) was a photographer for two of the most ambitious geographical surveys of the nineteenth century. He traversed the mountain and desert regions of the western United States under the command of Clarence King and Lt. George M. Wheeler for six seasons between 1867 and 1874. O'Sullivan developed a forthright and rigorous style in response to the landscapes of the American West, and returned to Washington, D.C. with hundreds of photographs that revealed an artist whose reach far surpassed the demands of practical documentation. He created a body of work that was without precedent in its visual and emotional complexity, while simultaneously meeting the needs of scientific investigation and western expansion. Of all his colleagues, O'Sullivan has maintained the strongest influence on contemporary practice, and observations about his images by six contemporary landscape photographers—Thomas Joshua Cooper, Eric Paddock, Edward Ranney, Mark Ruwedel, Martin Stupich, and Terry Toedtemeier—contribute to the exhibition and catalogue.

This group includes works by O’Sullivan from the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Certain of these are included in the exhibition, Framing the West: The Survey Photographs of Timothy H. O'Sullivan, which runs from February 12, 2010 – May 9, 2010 in the Osher Galleries, 1st floor West of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Library of Congress. The exhibition catalogue, published by Yale University Press in association with the American Art Museum and the Library of Congress, includes essays by curator, Toby Jurovics with Carol M. Johnson, Glenn Willumson, and William F. Stapp, and a foreword by Page Stegner. Photographs from the exhibit are also available on the Library of Congress’ Flickr photostream.

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Additional Info

  • This group will count toward the photo's limit (60 for Pro members, 30 for free members)
  • Accepted content types: Photos, Videos, Images, Art, Screenshots
  • Accepted safety levels: Safe
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