The Raclin Murphy Museum of Art announces winner in the category of Outstanding Catalogues for 2022

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The Raclin Murphy Museum of Art announces winner in the category of Outstanding Catalogues for 2022
The Raclin Murphy Museum of Art announces A History of Photography at the University of Notre Dame: Nineteenth-Century, is a winner in the category of Outstanding Catalogues for 2022.

NOTRE DAME, IN. .- The Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame announces A History of Photography at the University of Notre Dame: Nineteenth-Century by Curator of Photographs, David Acton, is a winner in the category of Outstanding Catalogues for 2022 from the Midwest Art History Society. The award was presented at the annual members meeting on March 31, 2023. Notre Dame’s prize is shared with the Cleveland Museum of Art for their catalogue on Netherlandish art.

The University of Notre Dame is home to a nationally renowned photography collection. This volume of nineteenth-century work, the second in a two-volume pairing, explores the ideas and innovation of 100 years of creativity, from the pioneering work of William Henry Fox Talbot and Antoine-François-Jean Claudet, through to the technical mastery of late-nineteenth-century artists Frederick H. Evans and the work of social reformers such as Jacob August Riis.

Author David Acton’s fascinating introduction to the history of photography sets the stage for the images to come. In a century in which photography became ubiquitous, photographers developed their own techniques and genres and struggled to establish their legitimacy as artists. The main catalogue of 100 key works is arranged chronologically; each photograph is presented as a full-page plate accompanied by engaging essays on each work with careful attention to the artist and image, biographical information on the photographer, and discussion about style, technique, and historical importance.

Acton tracks the history, artistic concepts, and technical advances of photography, from its creation, represented by Fox Talbot, Alphonse Louis Poitevin, Frederic Flacheron and Roger Fenton, through to the advances in photography seen in images by Julia Margaret Cameron, Desire Chanay, Felice Beato, William Bell and Louis-Maurice Boutet de Monvel. The volume provides a striking pictorial history, including work by Mathew Brady, the most famous American photographer of his day, whose searing images of the Civil War were admired by Abraham Lincoln, and the exploration of the American West by photographers including Eadweard Muybridge and Charles Savage.

DAVID ACTON, PhD is the Curator of Photographs at the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame. A scholar of prints, drawings, and photographs, he has published extensively about works on paper ranging from the Old Masters to the 20th century. Among his publications of 20th-century artists are studies of Blanche Lazzell, Norman Lewis, and Sir Howard Hodgkin. Acton was the organizer and principal catalogue author for the noted traveling exhibitions The Stamp of Impulse: Abstract Expressionist Prints (2001), and Keeping Shadows: Photography at the Worcester Art Museum (2004).

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