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292 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 30 cm
I. A New World -- II. Proofs Positive -- III. A Democracy of Images -- IV. Seeing as Believing
"Photography and the Smithsonian were invented at the same time, and both were instrumental in revealing the modern world to itself. The Smithsonian holds more than 13 million images spanning over 150 years of taking and collecting photographs." "The book contains photographs that span the medium's history and record science, geography, history, the arts, and cultural events, from the first photographs ever made to digital views beamed back from Mars. The famous, the infamous, and the never-before-seen are here in a remarkable "democracy of images": Amelia Earhart, Abraham Lincoln, P.T. Barnum and Tom Thumb, John Brown, Frederick Douglass, Lucille Ball, Greta Garbo, Babe Ruth; the earliest views of the moon and the earliest panoramic view of Damascus; rare Native American photography; views of Asia, Africa, and the American West; photographs of early flight, and much, much more. By recording the act of seeing, and of what was seen, both photography and the Smithsonian have shaped our sense of ourselves, as individuals, as a people, as a country."--Jacket.