The photography collection at Princeton is one of the leading museum collections in the country. The first photograph in the collection, a work by Alfred Stieglitz, was registered in 1949. In 1971, David Hunter McAlpin, Class of 1920, and Mrs. McAlpin donated their personal collection of nearly 500 photographs, including works by Ansel Adams, Wynn Bullock, Imogen Cunningham, Charles Sheeler, and Edward Weston. Since then the department's holdings have grown to over 20,000 photographs by more than 900 artists, forming a comprehensive history of the medium from the 1840s to the present. Archives housed in the department include those of Minor White, Clarence H. White and the Clarence H. White School of Photography, Ruth Bernhard, and William B. Dyer. Photography at Princeton, an extensive catalogue of the collection, was published in 1998. The collection is available to students and scholars  through exhibition or viewing in the study room by appointment.

McAlpin Photo Study Center hours are by appointment only. Please send an email to at least two weeks in advance to view original photographs. All appointment requests must be made in writing.


Art as Activism: Beyond "The City Lost and Found"

As The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960–1980 enters its final weeks, I have been reflecting on the impact of the ideas and art featured in the project. Throughout the run of the exhibition this spring, a range of programs gave us the opportunity to see how the photographs, films, city plans, and other objects on view laid the groundwork for politically and socially engaged art practices in the 1980s and beyond.

The City Lost & Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960-1980: A Discussion with the Exhibition Curators

The American city of the 1960s and 1970s witnessed seismic physical changes and social transformations, from shifting demographics and political demonstrations to the aftermath of decades of urban renewal. The works on view in The City Lost and Found blur the lines between art, activism, and journalism and demonstrate the deep connections between art practices and the political, social, and geographic realities of American cities in a tumultuous era.

The exhibition’s three curators, Katherine Bussard, Alison Fisher, and Greg Foster-Rice, sat down with Anna Brouwer, associate editor at the Museum, to discuss the show and the curatorial process.

The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960-1980

Acconci was one of a host of different actors—artists, photographers, architects, filmmakers, planners, and activists—who responded to the city and the activity in the streets. Their work is featured in the groundbreaking exhibition The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, 1960–1980, which examines creative responses to dramatic urban changes through the intersection of photography, film, architecture, and urban planning. Organized in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago, where it is on view through January 11, 2015, the exhibition focuses on the interconnections of art practices and civic life in the nation’s three largest cities during the 1960s and 1970s.

Minor White's Legacy

In anticipation of the exhibition Minor White: Manifestations of the Spirit, opening at the J. Paul Getty Museum on July 8, Katherine A. Bussard, Peter C. Bunnell Curator of Photography at the Princeton University Art Museum, and former curator Peter C. Bunnell discuss the Art Museum’s Minor White Archive.

Katherine Bussard

Peter C. Bunnell Curator of Photography

Katherine Bussard was appointed Peter C. Bunnell Curator of Photography at the Princeton University Art Museum in 2013. Previously, she served as associate curator of photography at the Art Institute Chicago. Since 1999, she has organized a number of exhibitions, including: Film and Photo in New York (2012); Souvenirs of the Barbizon: Photographs, Paintings, and Works on Paper (2011); So the Story Goes: Photographs by Tina Barney, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Nan Goldin, Sally Mann, and Larry Sultan (2006); and a biennial series dedicated to emerging photographers (2005–2011). Bussard is co-author of Color Rush: American Color Photography from Stieglitz to Sherman (2013). She completed her doctoral dissertation on street photography at the City University of New York and contributed a related essay to Street Art, Street Life: From the 1950s to Now (2008). That scholarship is the subject of a forthcoming book from Yale University Press. Bussard is also currently co-authoring a publication exploring the intersection of photography, architecture, and urban studies in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles during the 1960s and 1970s, for which there will be an accompanying exhibition.