July 16, 2009 Library of Congress is Repository for Photographs by Philip Trager, Now Featured in National Building Museum Exhibition

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Elizabeth Terry Rose (202) 707-8696

Architecture and dance photographer Philip Trager, whose work is now on display at the National Building Museum exhibition “Form and Movement,” will be placing his entire ongoing body of work in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.

The Philip Trager Photographic Archive, which will contain images, negatives, contact prints, unpublished pieces and manuscript materials, will be available sometime in the future—after cataloging—to researchers at the Library of Congress.

The “Form and Movement: Photographs by Philip Trager” exhibition at the National Building Museum, now open through Jan. 3, 2010, features images from Trager’s continuing 40-year career. Trager’s critically lauded and sought-after photographs, both lyrical and technical in execution, capture the seemingly disparate arts of architecture and dance.

“For almost five decades, Philip Trager’s discerning and passionate practice of photography has justly caused him to be recognized as a master,” said C. Ford Peatross, founding director and curator for the Library’s Center for Architecture, Design and Engineering. “His careful eye, his sensitivity to the slightest nuances of light and atmosphere and his finely honed understanding of structure have allowed him to capture—and us to see anew—subjects ranging from the gritty vernacular of American cities to the works of Palladio and the monuments of Paris, from the clouds framing and defining landscapes to frozen moments in the drama of the dance.”

Peatross continued, “It is more than fitting that the body of his work will become a part of perhaps the richest and most extensive collection of architectural photographs in existence, in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.”

According to Peatross, the Trager archive is a treasure trove for future scholars and photographers and for students of the subjects he has documented. It will include prints of each of his published images and, in a number of cases, the carefully annotated proofs which informed their printing; all of his negatives, representing his entire oeuvre, known and unknown; and his notes. In addition, the collection will include a “cabinet” of photographic printing techniques at their highest level of skill—a time capsule of the practice of this art in the second half of the 20th century, including silver gelatin, platinum and Iris Giclée prints produced by Trager or under his exacting direction.

Ninety photographs are on display in the “Form and Movement” exhibition, which is curated by the National Building Museum’s Laura Schiavo and Reed Haslach and presented in cooperation with the Library of Congress. For further information, call 202-272-2448 or visit the museum’s website at www.nbm.org.

Trager has exhibited widely and published numerous books, including the retrospective “Philip Trager (2006), “Dancers” (1992), “The Villas of Palladio” (1986) and “Photographs of Architecture” (1977).

The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division includes more than 14 million photographs, drawings and prints from the 15th century to the present day. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/rr/print/.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with nearly 142 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. As the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, the Library is a symbol of democracy and the principles on which this nation was founded. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site, in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill, and through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.


PR 09-141
ISSN 0731-3527