A selection of some 60 photographs in the Gallery’s collection made possible by Robert B. Menschel are on view in an exhibition that examines how the act of posing for a portrait changed with the invention of the medium. Featured works come from the early 1840s—just after photography was invented—through the 1990s.
The exhibition includes pictures by Lewis Carroll, Edward Weston, Man Ray, Robert Frank, Timothy H. O'Sullivan, and Brassaï, in addition to photographs by scientists, commercial practitioners, and amateurs. Menschel has been a generous supporter of the Gallery since his 1989 donation of funds helped establish the photography collection. Since then, his support has made possible the acquisition of more than 450 photographs. Most recently, Menschel generously pledged 54 photographs from his personal collection.
The exhibition is curated by Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs, National Gallery of Art.