February 22, 2018 Los Angeles Exhibition to Showcase Photography from Library of Congress

Annenberg Space for Photography to Feature Rare Images Documenting U.S. History, Culture

Press Contact: Brett Zongker, Library of Congress (202) 707-1639
Contact: Sunshine Sachs for the Annenberg Space for Photography (323) 822-9300

Not an Ostrich: ‘Floradora goose.’ Actress Isla Bevan holds a goose at the 41st annual Poultry Show, Madison Square Garden, 1930. Unknown photographer.

A selection of nearly 500 images discovered within a collection of more than 14 million pictures at the Library of Congress will be featured in a new exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. The exhibition, “Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America’s Library,” will be open to the public April 21 through Sept. 9, 2018.

Working closely for several years with the Library’s Prints & Photographs Division specialists, photography curator Anne Wilkes Tucker organized the exhibition, which will feature a large selection of rare and handpicked works from the vaults of the world’s largest library. Many images were never before widely available to the public. Each picture documents a special moment in America’s culture and history.

“What a pleasure and an honor it was to work with the Library of Congress selecting these photographs. Glamour, worship, invention, bravery, humor, cruelty and love – this collection of photographs preserves all examples of our humanity as well as chronicling America’s history in extraordinary photographs,” said Tucker, curator emerita of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. “The Library is an inexhaustible trove for anyone’s exploration.”

The images selected for the exhibition span three centuries of photography (1800s, 1900s, 2000s), telling America’s story through evocative imagery. The display also reveals the evolution of photography itself – from daguerreotypes, the first publicly available photographic process, to contemporary born-digital images. The exhibition’s name, “Not an Ostrich,” refers to an image in the collection – a photograph 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 items collected at the Library over its 218-year history.

Other pictures among the hundreds on display include: The Wright brothers’ first flight, the earliest known portrait of Harriet Tubman, 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.

“The Library of Congress not only collects and preserves America’s cultural heritage but also works to make those comprehensive collections accessible to as many people as possible. I am so thrilled about this opportunity to present the Library’s rich photography collection at the Annenberg Space for Photography,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “I hope photography and history enthusiasts around Los Angeles and beyond who visit this unprecedented exhibition will have their curiosity piqued about all that is available to them at their national library.”

“Not an Ostrich” marks the first time an exhibition of this scale, featuring a selection of photographs from the Library, has been displayed on the West Coast. It represents a fraction of the Library’s full collection to help visitors rediscover one of America’s most important cultural institutions. The exhibition will include more than 440 photographs from 1839 to the present, created by 148 photographers and displayed primarily through large digital screens. The photographers Sharon Farmer, Donna Ferrato, Carol M. Highsmith, Danny Lyon, Camilo Jose Vergara and Will Wilson will be among those whose works are featured in the exhibition and in an original documentary film for the exhibition, produced by the Annenberg Foundation in partnership with Arclight Productions.

“The exhibit Anne Tucker has put together is one that truly reflects America in images. Each photograph exposes us to just a fraction of the millions of American stories held in the Library of Congress, from the iconic to the absurd,” said Annenberg Foundation Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Wallis Annenberg. “Though cameras and technology have changed over the years, this exhibition shows us that nothing captures a moment, a time or a story like a photograph.”

Not an Ostrich” will be on display from April 21 through Sept. 9, 2018. Visitors can access the exhibition with free admission Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, California. For more information on “Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America’s Library” visit: annenbergphotospace.org/exhibits/not-an-ostrich

About the Annenberg Space for Photography

The Annenberg Space for Photography is a cultural destination dedicated to exhibiting both digital and print photography in an intimate environment. The space features state-of-the-art, high-definition digital technology as well as traditional prints by some of the world's most renowned photographers and a selection of emerging photographic talents as well. The venue, an initiative of the Annenberg Foundation and its trustees, is the first solely photographic cultural destination in the Los Angeles area, and it creates a new paradigm in the world of photography.

About the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


PR 18-008
ISSN 0731-3527