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Three prestigious Washington, D.C., organizations played a major role in the establishment and acceptance of art photography in America. The Camera Club of the Capital Bicycle Club sponsored the 1896 Washington Salon and Art Photographic Exhibition. The Cosmos Club provided the exhibit space. And fifty of the salon's images were purchased to expand the Smithsonian Institution's national collection. This online exhibition from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History tells the story of how this event led to the creation of the Smithsonian's "Section of Photography'' and how amateur photography came to be viewed as art. Designed to make the viewer feel as if they are a visitor to the Washington Salon, this exhibition will give students a unique view into the history of photography.
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