In 2014, the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago received a generous gift from collectors Lester and Betty Guttman: 830 photographs, created by a total of 414 artists, that cover a time period stretching all the way from the early 1800s into our modern moment. This richly illustrated volume, which accompanies an exhibition at the Smart Museum of Art, offers both an intriguing overview of the collection and, with it, a tour through the very history of photography itself.
There Was a Whole Collection Made includes an extensive timeline on the medium’s evolution that notes important dates, exhibitions, and texts. Artists and scholars alike contribute personal reflections on and interpretations of the Guttmans’ photographs, which include images by such artists as William Henry Fox Talbot, Man Ray, László Moholy-Nagy, and Carrie Mae Weems. A colorful introduction to a key visual resource, There Was a Whole Collection Made crosses time periods and genres to revel in the enduring power of the camera lens.
About the Author
Jessica Moss is curator of contemporary art at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art.