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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography

Amon Carter Museum of American Art / Fort Worth / Art

The cabinet card—a photograph fixed to a sturdy card, generally four by six inches, with a distinctive sepia tone—could be propped on a cabinet for constant viewing, hence its name. The main format for portraiture in America during the last 30 years of the 19th century, cabinet cards often had fanciful backdrops, charming props (all those Victorian wicker chairs), and a playful sense of invention. Here is the first-ever examination of the relationship between cabinet cards and modern photography. —L.J.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76107, United States
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