Look Again: Discovering Historical Photos

Two friends—both clad in Civil War uniforms—pose together for the camera. One wears Confederate gray; the other, Union blue. In a 1928 snapshot, a dead sperm whale that washed ashore at Wrightsville beach lies surrounded by spectators. A larger, more professional photograph of about the same vintage shows a snowy view of Morganton’s Broughton Hospital, part of it still under construction.These images and more than 30 others are part of Look Again: Discovering Historical Photos, a traveling photography exhibit from the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh that is now open at the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort.

The free exhibit will run through Sunday, May 5. The introduction of photography in the mid-1800s forever changed the way we record and remember our personal lives, as well as our community’s, state’s and nation’s history. Some images in Look Again show changes over time—in fashion, architecture, landscapes, technology, and society. Other images show faces, some well-know, others known not at all. The large-scale reprints in the exhibit represent a variety of photographic processes, dating from the mid-1800s through the 1970s. Some of the original images were nineteenthcentury daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes. Others were first printed from turnof- the-twentieth 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. The photographs in Look Again are divided into four thematic sections: Telling Stories, Taking a Closer Look, Remembering Faces, and Capturing Moments. Each section focuses on stories and interesting details associated with each individual photo.

For more information, call the museum at 828-668-9259 or email us at MGM@ncdcr.gov