Photo Antiquities Museum of Photographic History
Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Photo Antiques Museum of Photographic History “is dedicated to the preservation, presentation and education of the history of photography. The museum's collection includes images, cameras and accessories that capture the earliest days of photography” (“Photo Antiques”). The Victorian style décor and atmosphere is adorned with music in the background to provide visitors with a unique and relaxing experience. “Photo Antiquities preserves and exhibits the history of photography from 1839 to 1939” (“From Out”). The museum offers guided tours and the exhibits change monthly so be sure to check out Photo Antiques’ website for a list of current displays. Collections include the Civil War; Native Americans; Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; United States; Asia; and Europe.
Backstory and Context
The Photo Antiquities Museum covers all of photographic history from the arrival of the Daguerreotype in 1839 to the present day digital technology in a very small and intimate space. The museum focuses on the 19th century photographic processes, equipment and images and how they have evolved over time. It also features the works of famous photographic pioneers, such as Civil War photographer Matthew Brady.
As mentioned, the museum rotates its exhibits on a monthly basis and past exhibits have included Lincoln in Pittsburgh, Portraits of the Native American Indian, The Dog Days of Summer: A Cute and Curious Collection of Canine Characters, and Spirits! Good and Evil. The museum also offers educational opportunities for young and old alike. Previous classes have included Changing Lifestyles: Western Pennsylvania 1750-1950, Photo Detective, and Photography as History.
Finally, some of the museum's more popular artifacts include a full wall of vintage 35mm cameras from various manufacturers such as Nikon and Canon, a wood and brass daguerreotype camera from 1839, and the 700mm Graflex that was mounted at Forbes Field and captured images of Pirate Bill Mazeroski's walk-off home run in the 1960 World Series.