The Collectible Moment

Photographs in the Norton Simon Museum

Edited by Gloria Williams Sander; Essays by Therese Mulligan and Gloria Williams Sander

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Before the late 1960s, few museums or collectors acquired photographs or considered the medium as an art form. The moment arrived, however, when photography’s profile ascended and the medium began to gain widespread acceptance in the art world as an art form engaged with issues that were central to contemporary art. This was precisely the moment of greatest growth for the collection presented here. This catalogue publishes for the first time the 548 photographs in the Norton Simon Museum of Art collection, more than 90 per cent of which were acquired during that fascinating moment of transition in the history of photography, 1969 to 1974.

In The Collectible Moment Therese Mulligan outlines the character, quality, and importance of the Norton Simon collection, and Gloria Williams Sander explores the history of the Museum’s photography department in the context of the local art organizations in general and community of photographers specifically. First-person recollections by a number of important figures in the world of photography provide immediate and vivid accounts of the period and the photo artists of this important historical moment.

Gloria Williams Sander is curator, Norton Simon Museum of Art. She lives in Los Angeles. Therese Mulligan is professor and graduate coordinator of the Master of Fine Art in Photography and director, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences Gallery, Rochester Institute of Technology. She lives in Rochester, NY.


Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena (October 13, 2006 – February 26, 2007)

"An optimal choice for academic libraries with museum studies collections and libraries with large photography collections."—Library Journal

"This first rate profile approaches a well hacked genre from the point of the sudden emergence of collecting photography in the late-1960s. More than 500 photographs and first person recollections by a number of prominent figures in the world of photography provide vivid accounts of the period. This is a wonderfully manageable survey of 20th-century photography."---Lucy Davies, The Daily Telegraph
ISBN: 9780300121001
Publication Date: November 15, 2006
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Norton Simon Museum
344 pages, 9 1/2 x 11 1/2
73 b/w + 617 color illus.