Islands of the Blest


I curated Islands of the Blest while working at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Artist Bryan Schutmaat and art historian Ashlyn Davis selected the pictures with an eye toward telling a history of the exploration, settlement and industrialization of the American West. Its photographs depict various places in the West and were taken over a one-hundred-year period, from the 1870s through the 1970s. The photographers presented range from the completely unknown to some of America’s most distinguished practitioners of the medium, including Timothy H. O’Sullivan and Dorothea Lange. All images were sourced from digital public archives, such as the Library of Congress and the United States Geological Survey Library, and remain readily available to download.

I worked with Bryan and Ashlyn to turn their celebrated photobook into an exhibition and collaborated with the Mercantile Library in downtown Cincinnati to stage it in that historic venue. The exhibition was part of the 2016 FotoFocus Biennial.

Selected projects