Smithsonian Photography Initiative Announces Its New Blog “The Bigger Picture” at

April 13, 2009
News Release
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The Smithsonian Photography Initiative announces its blog, “The Bigger Picture,” which presents an inside look at the Smithsonian’s photography collections and invites audiences to engage in an online discussion about photography’s powerful impact on our world.

Launched in January 2009 at, the blog is produced by the Photography Initiative in collaboration with guest contributors from throughout the Smithsonian. Current categories of “The Bigger Picture” include:

  • Collections in Focus: A behind-the-scenes look at the Smithsonian’s photo collections from researchers, archivists, curators and other Smithsonian staff.
  • Inside click!: Features ongoing research and discoveries made as the Photography Initiative develops the “click! photography changes everything” program.
  • News in the Visual: A discussion around the latest ideas and issues in visual culture.

The blog is intended to present multiple perspectives about the impact of photography and highlight the work of curators, photographers, historians and other Smithsonian staff members. It invites the general public to participate in the dialogue by commenting on Smithsonian posts.

Photography and the Smithsonian were born within a decade of each other in the mid-19th century. The Smithsonian now has more than 13 million images in 700 collections throughout its 19 museums, nine research centers and the National Zoo. “The Bigger Picture” uses these collections and the Institution’s experts to stimulate an active conversation about the medium, its history and its meaning in people’s lives.

“The Bigger Picture” gives Smithsonian staff a way to tell the stories about how photography was used and collected by the Institution,” said Merry A. Foresta, director of the Smithsonian Photography Initiative. “It also creates a forum for conversation between the Smithsonian and our audience of photograph makers, readers and, indeed, anyone interested in the way images create a bigger picture of our world.”

About the Smithsonian Photography Initiative
Established in 2001 to encourage greater awareness of the Smithsonian’s vast and unique image collections, the Smithsonian Photography Initiative is dedicated to creating interactive programming including online exhibitions, publications and educational activities via its Web sites. The Photography Initiative exists to broaden public understanding and appreciation of photography at the Smithsonian; encourage greater access and use of the Smithsonian’s online image collections; and use innovative technologies to create new opportunities for the research, scholarship and enjoyment of photography.

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