Addison Gallery of American Art

Philips Academy

Andover, MA

(978) 749-4015


Expanded Visions: The Panoramic Photograph

January 17 - April 5, 1998


Expanded Visions: The Panoramic Photograph features nineteenth- and twentieth-century images by more than seventy-five photographers including artists such as Jim Dow, Josef Sudek, E. O. Goldbeck, Lois Conner, Mark Klett, Kenneth Snelson, George Barnard, W.H. Jackson, Eadweard Muybridge, Berenice Abbott, O. Winston Link, John Pfahl, and Bruce Davidson.

While not meant to be a comprehensive survey, Expanded Visions: The Panoramic Photograph illustrates the panorama's rich history by including everything from daguerreotypes and albumen prints to Polaroids and computer-generated ink jet prints. In addition to photographs, photographically illustrated books, and photographic albums, the exhibition will also present a selection of panoramic cameras. Group portraits, disasters and catastrophes, interiors, and landscapes both urban and rural are all subject matter represented in Expanded Visions.


O. Winston Link, S-1a Switcher and Its Crew, Roanoke, VA, 1958, gelatin silver print

Courtesy of Robert Mann Gallery, New York


Objects as diverse as a rare 1848 seven-plate daguerreotype panorama of Philadelphia's Fairmount waterworks to a 1925 group portrait of California bathing beauties to a contemporary 370 degree view of a midwest wheat field attest to the variety of work that can result from the artist's desire to capture the expanded view.

The panorama has fascinated artists since the invention of photography. During the nineteenth century the impulse to reach beyond the limits of the photographic frame led to experimentation with piecing together images to create expansive views on copper daguerrean plates as well as paper and glass negatives. By the turn of the century, cameras were invented that could take in similarly long vistas on a single negative with the help of extreme wide angle
lenses, lenses that actually rotated, or cameras that revolved up to 360 degrees on a fixed tripod.


Michael Spano, Subway, 1978-84, gelatin silver print

Collection: Addison Gallery of American Art, Copyright Michael Spano


Advances in the design of panoramic cameras during the last decade of the nineteenth century created an incredible demand for all kinds of expansive photographic views in this country. With the invention of hand-held cameras by Kodak and other companies, amateur photographers also began using small-format panoramic cameras to record family life and travels.


Allen Hess, Fleming Cemetery, Bayou Barataria, Louisiana, 1982, toned gelatin silver print

Copyright Allen Hess


While the vogue for panoramas lessened somewhat in the 1930s,'40s and '50s, the 1960s saw a renewed interest in the format with artists such as Art Sinsabaugh using the panorama to capture the expansive spaces of the Midwest. During the last decade, the number of practitioners working in this format has dramatically increased. This revival is evidenced by the sheer number of artists currently making panoramic photographs--Lois Conner, Bruce Davidson, Tim Dow, John Pfahl, Frank Gohlke, and more--many of whom are represented in this exhibition.



An illustrated brochure with an essay by curators Allison Kemmerer and Karen Haas is available at the Addison Gallery of American Art.



This exhibition has been funded in part by a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


About the Addison Gallery of American Art

The Addison Gallery of American Art, as a department of Phillips Academy, is an academic art museum. The museum's purpose is to acquire, preserve, interpret, and exhibit works of American art for the education and enjoyment of local, regional, national and international audiences. Located at the corner of Route 28 and Chapel Avenue, Andover, Massachusetts, the museum is open to the public, free of charge, Tuesday through Saturday 10 - 5, and Sunday 1 - 5, closed Mondays, national holidays, December 24, and August 1 through: Labor Day, The museum is wheelchair accessible.

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 1997 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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