An exhibition titled Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America’s Library, running from April 21 through September 9, 2018 at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, gathers a collection of nearly 500 images – discovered within a collection of more than 14 million pictures – permanently housed in the world’s largest library at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Put together by the curator Anne Wilkes Tucker, it features a large selection of rare and handpicked works from the vaults of the library, some never released to the public, and each picture documents a special moment in America’s culture and history.
The selection span three centuries of photography (1800s, 1900s, 2000s), simultaneously telling America’s story through evocative imagery, while revealing the evolution of photography itself – from daguerreotypes, the first publicly available photographic process, to contemporary digital images. The exhibition’s name, Not an Ostrich, refers to an actual image included in the collection – a photo of actress Isla Bevan holding a “Floradora Goose” at the 41st Annual Poultry Show at Madison Square Garden – and hints at the unexpected and unusual artifacts collected at the Library of Congress over its 218-year history, some of which will be on display inside the Annenberg Space for Photography.
Other pictures among the hundreds on display: The Wright brothers’ first flight, the earliest known portrait of American abolitionist Harriet Tubman, illusionist Harry Houdini bound in chains for a magic trick, action scenes from Vietnam War protests, Ku Klux Klan demonstrations, and an image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
It is the first time that an exhibition of this scale, featuring a selection of photographs from the Library of Congress, is displayed on the West Coast. It includes over 440 photographs from 1839 to the present, by 148 photographers – displayed both physically and digitally – including the works of Sharon Farmer, Donna Ferrato, Carol M. Highsmith, Danny Lyon, Camilo José Vergara, or Will Wilson.
Annenberg Space for Photography
2000 Avenue of the Stars Los Angeles, CA 90067 USA
April 21, 2018 to September 09, 2018