This exhibition of approximately forty photographs celebrates the pioneering legacy of David H. McAlpin, Class of 1920, whose seminal gift to Princeton of more than five hundred photographs, beginning in 1971, made this one of the earliest museums to commit to photography as a fine art form. A friend to many mid-century artists and a champion of art museums, McAlpin brought a visionary impulse to his collecting and to his donation to Princeton.
His 1971 gift included exceptional works by acclaimed historical photographers of the nineteenth and the early twentieth century, as well as works by those artists McAlpin had befriended in the decades before his gift—Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe, Eliot Porter, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston, and Minor White. McAlpin further ensured serious engagement with the medium through an acquisitions fund and a professorship in the Department of Art and Archaeology dedicated to the history of photography—the first in the nation.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website