Acting Out: Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography, 1870–1900
(Los Angeles, CA—June 28, 2021) The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Acting Out: Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography, 1870–1900, the first in-depth examination of the cabinet card phenomenon in the United States. Measuring 6 1/2 by 4 1/4 inches, roughly the size of a modern-day mobile phone screen, cabinet cards gave rise to a golden age of photographic portraiture in the second half of the 19th century. Where photographs had once functioned as solemn records of likeness and stature, cabinet cards offered a new outlet for entertainment and remembering life’s everyday moments, allowing for different poses, details, action-ready gestures, and an array of props. Acting Out: Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography, 1870–1900 was organized by John Rohrbach, Senior Curator of Photographs at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, where it was on view August 15–November 1, 2020. The LACMA presentation is curated by Britt Salvesen, Curator and Head of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department.