No Pixels? No Problem.

Exhibit in the Albin O. Kuhn Library rotunda features vintage cameras.
Continues through August 11

Even before the introduction of camera phones and digital photography, the technology for capturing images was getting smaller, lighter and easier to work with. See the transition at the Albin O. Kuhn Library’s Rotunda display featuring cameras of the early to mid-twentieth century, from UMBC’s Cavanaugh Collection. Curated by history graduate student, Dot Alexander, with assistance from chief curator of the Library Gallery, Tom Beck, Alexander used her research of the technology to design a fun exhibition set in a “world without Instagram.”

Photography of the twentieth-century saw a number of transformations – from intention, to who took the photos, to how the photos were taken. Cameras began to have faster mechanical shutters, rangefinders, exposure meters, flash and more automatic technology. They were becoming smaller, easier to use and – after the first central processing unit (CPU) in 1981– smarter.

Alexander explains, “This camera collection demonstrates twentieth-century technical innovations that shifted photography from a professional, time consuming hobby to an amateur sport. . . These cameras show us how we got from the first Kodak in 1888 to the iPhone.”

Cameras featured in the exhibition include a Kodak Premoette, c. 1909-1912; an Ernemann Heag IV, c. 1925; the Kodak Vest Pocket Model B (pictured), c. 1925-1934; an early Polaroid, c. 1955 and pioneer 35mm cameras including the Argus A and the Kodak 35.

The Albin O. Kuhn Library Rotunda is located on the first floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library. The Library is open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and Monday through Friday from Noon to 4 p.m. during the summer. Admission to this display and the library is free.

The Cavanaugh Collection is a selection of cameras donated to UMBC’s Special Collections by William B. Cavanaugh. Special Collections is open by appointment during the summer.



Camera from Cavanaugh Collection