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Exhibitions Home | Current | Upcoming | Past | Virtual

Tokens of Affection and Regard: Photographic Jewelry and Its Makers

October 24, 2008 – June 21, 2009

Museum: Portrait Gallery

Location: 1st Floor, East Side

This poignant exhibition, drawn primarily from the collection of Larry J. West, features rare and exquisite jewelry containing portraits in the 19th century's four main photographic processes -- daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, and paper prints. Produced, exchanged and treasured as "tokens of affection and regard", these relics of loving attachments speak to the deepest of human sentiments and flourished throughout the period from 1840 to 1875 and beyond. They are complemented in the exhibition by portraits (a gift from Mr. West) of some of the pioneering American photographers who created and marketed photographic jewelry, including Mathew Brady, Jeremiah Gurney, Albert Sands Southworth, Jeremiah Gurney, Josiah Johnson Hawes.

See "Around the Mall" in the November 2008 Smithsonian magazine: p. 32.

Online Exhibition