Discovering Historical Photos
The Mountain Gateway Museum & Heritage Center, in Old Fort, hosts Look Again: Discovering Historical Photos, a traveling photography exhibit from the North Carolina Museum of History, through Sunday, May 5. The exhibit features large-scale reprints representing a variety of photographic processes dating from the mid-1800s through the 1970s. Viewers will see a range of subjects, including everything from Civil War soldiers to a sperm whale washed ashore at Wrightsville beach.
“I have always felt that old photos are a window into the past, sort of a two-dimensional time machine that most people can identify with,” says NC Museum of History chief photographer, Eric Blevins, who conceived of the exhibit.
Images selected represent areas of the state from the coast to the mountains. The photographs are divided into four thematic sections: Telling Stories, Taking a Closer Look, Remembering Faces and Capturing Moments. Each section focuses on interesting details associated with the individual photos.
“I think the stories that go with the images—the parade float of dogs and possums, the ghost story from Bostonian Bridge train wreck, the whale that is now on display at the National Science Museum—are of great interest,” says Blevins. “Seeing how people dressed in the portraits on exhibit is a good education as well.”
Some of the original images were 19th century daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes. Others were first printed from turn-of-the-20th century glass-plate negatives. Many were taken on black-and-white roll film of the early 1900s while still others were captured on the new color film of the 1950s and later.
Mountain Gateway Museum & Heritage Center is located at 24 Water Street, Old Fort. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 2–5 p.m. Learn more at MGMNC.org.