This exhibition complemented the Museum’s popular Double Exposure series of photographic books, allowing guests to contemplate how pictures capture significant moments in history, memory, and space. More Than a Picture explored a wide spectrum of American experiences, from slavery to Black Lives Matter, to show how an image’s value to history and cultural meaning may be seen beyond its surface. This exhibition was formed by looking at portraits of people who can change history, groups that share a feeling of community, and personal expressions of culture and identity.
The Big Idea
Images captured with a camera are much more than just static images. Memories and events from our history are preserved in them, as well as the moments of pride, joy, celebration, and moments of conflict and disagreement. Because we take pictures to remember things, every image has a backstory that has affected the lives of the people who took it and the cultures and communities in which it was taken.
Experiencing the Exhibition
The images on display here document moments in time in the history of the United States. It’s not dissimilar from historical records in that these images document people’s attempts to control their destinies and accounts through their efforts, accomplishments, and even moments of personal suffering.
Images in this section show how people view themselves as part of a larger group. Communities bring individuals together through the bonds of friendship, family, and affiliations with local businesses, organizations, and leagues.
In this area, you’ll find a collection of images demonstrating American cultural ideals’ breadth and depth. They document varied cultural identities and worldviews in the form of aesthetic representations. These photographs, including dance and music to fashion and style, celebrate America’s diversity.
One of the exhibit’s features is an interactive area where visitors may “read” photographs by interacting with graphics based on the images in the show themselves.