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The FJJMA's photography collection celebrates the history of the medium. The collection was precociously begun in 1937, when Oscar Jacobson, the museum's director, acquired for the fledgling museum three photographs by Edward Weston. In 1942, Jacobson added to this nucleus two more photographs by Weston.

The period of most rapid growth for the photography collection was the 1970s and early 1980s, during the directorship of Sam Olkinetzky, with the particular guidance of Edwin J. "Jim" Deighton, then the museum's assistant director and, himself, a photographer. During this time, prices were affordable because the market for photography was still nascent, and important examples by major photographers from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries were acquired.

The collection has grown to almost thirteen hundred prints. Particular strengths include 26 vintage photographs by Berenice Abbott and 27 by W. Eugene Smith. Recently, the FJJMA Museum Association has given prints by Michael Kenna, while well-known photography collectors Richard and Ellen Sandor of Chicago have donated vintage works by Bill Brandt, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edward S. Curtis, André Kertész, W. Eugene Smith, and James VanDerZee, Garry Winogrand, and others.


aerial view of New York at night

Berenice Abbott
New York at Night

print of tall trees in Aspen, small tree infront, to left, of trees

Ansel Adams
Aspen, New Mexico

black and white image, two large windows, view from outside of building, curtains closed, can't see inside windows

Lewis Baltz

yellow toned, temple of jupiter, falling apart

Felix Bonfils
Temple of Jupiter, Baalbek

black and white image, woman leaning against the railing, daydreaming

Manuel Alvarez Bravo
The Daydream

scene from a play, three men around a desk, man in middle sitting, on left leaning onto desk, on right standing up

Robert Capa
A Scene from Konstantine Simonov’s play “The Russian Question”

sheep crossing through a mountain

William Clift
Sheep & Petroglyphs, Canyon del Muerto, Arizona

Artichoke, Halved

Edward Weston
Artichoke, Halved

black/white image, front of street shop, cart sitting out front

Berenice Abbott
Christopher Street Shop

black/white image, young mother sitting on hammock feeding child

Emilio Amero
Fourteen Year Old Mother

image of sanded field, cross over top of image

Thomas F. Barrow
From the series Cancellations

black and white image, man playing piano, pitcher sitting on piano, clock behind him

Bill Brandt
Charlie Brown’s East End London Pub

black and white image, weed in the shape of a Y

Harry Callahan
Weed Against Sky

opening from surrounding of rock walls, sun shining through

Paul Caponigro
Enchanted Mesa, Acoma, New Mexico

The Vanishing Race

Edward S. Curtis
The Vanishing Race

from Women are beautiful photo

Garry Winogrand
Untitled #17 (from Women are Beautiful portfolio)

black/white image, edward hopper standing

Berenice Abbott
Edward Hopper

black/white image, men paving the street

Eugene Atget
Street Paver

black and white image, portrait of a female, white background

Cecil Beaton

black and white image, woman singing inside Cabaret, accordian player gazing up at her, couple sitting at table in background

Brassai (Gyula Halaz)
Kiki and Her Accordion Player at Cabaret des Fleurs, Montparnesse Boulevard, Paris

black and white image, nude woman standing with her back to the camera, left leg bent to create a 4 shape with her legs

Harry Callahan
Eleanor, Chicago

Piet Mondrian

André Kertész
Piet Mondrian, Paris