150 Years of Northampton Photography

150 Years of Northampton Photography

September 2-30, 2004 in the Hosmer Gallery

Click to see the Online Exhibit

Reprints still available: click for order form


Silk Mill, photo by Walter Corbin

Silk Mill, Florence, ca. 1930, by Walter Corbin

Forbes Library presents an exhibit entitled 150 Years of Northampton Photography. The show draws approximately 50 images from Forbes Library's archive of over 50,000 images spanning 150 years of local photography. As part of the process of creating this installation, curators Faith Kaufmann, Adam Novitt and Evadne Friedman selected a representative sample not only of the image collection but also a cross section of the cultural, economic and historical past that makes up life here in the Valley. The result is an opportunity to share with the public a small part of one of the best-kept secrets in Northampton. The Forbes Library Image Collection represents a continuous visual history from the industrial revolution to the present day.

Norwood Engineering Co, photo by Robert Emrick

Norwood Engineering Co., Florence, 1908, by Robert Emrick

The original images are in many formats including glass plate, nitrate and silver negatives, glass lantern slides, stereographs, and platinum prints. Many of the views have never before been seen by the public because the formats are too fragile or sensitive to be handled. Images from the collection were scanned on a high quality scanner provided by the Friends of the Forbes Library, and reproduced in new digital prints for the exhibition. The show touches on most of the major collections within the Forbes Special Collections including the Hampshire Gazette negatives, Robert Emrick, Walter Corbin, Elbridge Kingsley, Lionel Delevingne, and many anonymous artists. Subjects include portraits, streetscapes, aerial views, scenes of celebration, natural disasters, and everyday life.

Trainwreck, photo by Robert Emrick

Train wreck, Haydenville, ca. 1911, by Robert Emrick

New images by Amber Davis of the Mass. College of Art, and local photographers Andrea Burns, Frank Ward and Stan Sherer bring the collection up to the moment.

150 Years of Northampton Photography is made possible by a grant from the Northampton Arts Council and created in cooperation with the Northampton 350th Committee. Forbes Library would like to acknowledge generous support from Cornucopia Foods for the reception, Paradise Copies for printing the exhibition posters and several large-scale digital prints, and Smith Glass for the mounting of the images.

Clef Club production, Academy of Music

Clef Club production, "The Japanese Girl", Academy of Music, anonymous photographer

New high quality digital prints suitable for framing are available for sale to the public.

150 Years of Northampton Photography is truly a cooperative effort by cultural institutions, businesses and individuals interested in the history, arts, people and places that make Northampton unique.