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1900-1910 3D Stereograms Exhibited at the California Museum of Photography

The California Museum of Photography (CMP) at the University of California, Riverside presents “Michael Lesy: Looking Backward,” a new exhibition of 3D stereoscopic photographs and technology that presents a portrait of the world at the beginning of the 20th century. The exhibition opens March 11, 2017 and continues through July 15, 2017.

Lesy 640x

San Francisco Earthquake, 1906, Keystone-Mast Collection

The Exhibition

“We are drawing on an enormous, rarely seen collection of some 300,000 stereographic views from the museum’s collection, spanning the first decade of the 20th century,” said Leigh Gleason, the curator of collections at the CMP. “Lesy has selected nearly 250 images for a book that has inspired the exhibition.” 

Michael Lesy and the stereograms

Lesy is a professorMichael Lesy of literary journalism at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. He received his B.A. in theoretical sociology from Columbia University, an M.A. in American social history from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in American cultural history from Rutgers University.

The exhibition is drawn from Lesy’s 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, which he spent researching in the CMP’s Keystone-Mast Collection, the largest surviving archive of stereoscopic photographs. This exhibition is presented in tandem with the release of Lesy’s book, “Looking Backward: Images of the World at the Beginning of the 20th Century,” published by W.W. Norton in conjunction with the CMP.

Various Stereoscopic Devices

Photographs that will be present in the exhibition utilize various stereoscopic devices. These viewing methods include stereoscopes like one might have found in a Victorian parlor, including several historic devices drawn from CMP’s extensive photographic technology collections; 3-D projection, like one might encounter in a 3-D movie today, and the View-Master, a stereoscopic viewer ubiquitous in the second half of the 20th century.

The March 11, 2017 Lecture

Lesy will present a lecture at the UCR ARTSblock on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 4:30 p.m. The event will be followed by a book signing at 5:30 p.m., and a reception, 6-8 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

More Info

UCR ARTSblock is located at 3824 and 3834 Main St., Riverside, CA,USA and includes three venues: California Museum of Photography, Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts, and the Jack and Marilyn Sweeney Art Gallery, which are open Tuesday through Saturday, Noon to 5 p.m., and  6-9 p.m. for First Thursday ArtWalks. Admission is $3, which includes entry to all three venues, and is free during First Thursday ArtWalks. Visit for more info.

Source: UCRToday.