Photographs are a significant element of any museum collection and perhaps the most common artifact in local history collections. The Geneva Historical Society has over 15,000 images dating from 1850 to the present. Photographs are important artifacts in documenting local history and in establishing a sense of place. The attraction of photography is demonstrated by the success of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series of books and of the Geneva title in that series, Images of America: Geneva.
A new exhibit based on this book recently opened at the Geneva Historical Society. In addition to a selection of photographs and prints from the book, the exhibit Images: Geneva contains related artifacts, samples of portraiture and clothing from the Society’s collection, and information about Geneva’s prominent 19th-century photographers. Visitors will learn more about the science of photography and its proliferation in the 19th century. Through photographs, they will witness the transformation of Geneva from sleepy village to bustling industrial city. Using a reproduction stereoscopic viewer, visitors can also view three-dimensional images of the community, just as people did during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Images Geneva will remain open until spring 2004. For more information, call the Geneva Historical Society at 789-5151. The Geneva Historical Society Museum is located in the Prouty-Chew House at 543 South Main Street, Geneva and is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.
The Geneva Historical Society receives major funding from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the Town and City of Geneva.