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Art Diary

Acting Out: Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography

14 August 2020

While some museums remain shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Apollo’s usual weekly pick of exhibitions will include shows at institutions that are now reopening as well as digital projects providing virtual access to art and culture.

Over the final quarter of the 19th century, cabinet cards – inexpensive albumen prints, mounted on cardboard – transformed the genre of portrait photography in the US. They turned the practice of having one’s portrait taken from a rare formal event into an everyday occurrence – and with that, as this exhibition at the Amon Carter Museum sets out to show, came more opportunities for having fun with photography. Tracing the development of the cabinet card from its origins in celebrity culture, the display focuses on the elaborate costumes and theatrical settings devised by studio photographers and sitters. It runs from 18 August to 1 November. Find out more from the Carter’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

Untitled (Brezler’s Bakery Boy) (c. 1890s), F.J. Nelson, Anoka.

Untitled (Brezler’s Bakery Boy) (c. 1890s), F.J. Nelson, Anoka. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth

George Moore and Fred Howe (1890s), Howie, Detroit. Robert E. Jackson Collection

Getting the Cleaver (1880s), M.C. Hosford, West Rutland.

Getting the Cleaver (1880s), M.C. Hosford, West Rutland. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth

Helena Luy (1880s), Benjamin J. Falk, New York. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth