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Austin Exhibit Celebrates News Photography as Historical Record
In this business we live by the old saying, "Today it's news, tomorrow it's history." But a new museum exhibit here in Austin actually celebrates that motto. There you can see news of the day preserved as moments in history.
Don E. Carlton, executive director of the Briscoe Center for American History says, "The tough job was really cutting down the number. We could have had three to four times as many photographs as we show here."
The exhibit is called "News to History." It’s a collection of some of the very best news photographs from a collection of more than six million images from the Briscoe Center. Carlton says the history center is very different from an art museum. What they look for is information; what does the photograph tell us. And that is why news photographs are so important to their historical research. They're rich in detail. They're trying to capture an event.
The exhibit located at the LBJ Library features photographs of the major news events that shaped every presidency from FDR to Barrack Obama. But it's not official White House photography, it is news photography covering the presidency.
And the clarity of the photos is amazing! A print of Joe Rosenthal's photograph of the flag at Iwo Jima is so clear you can even tell there was a thumbprint on the negative. You’ll see lots of familiar images and some never-before-published snapshots, too. It’s a body of work that has taken what was the news of the day and made it our historical record.
By Fred Cantu