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3,500 photos given to LACMA

August 12, 2008|Suzanne Muchnic

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has added more than 3,500 photographs to its collection -- thanks, in large part, to financial support from LACMA trustee Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation. The artworks were amassed by the late Marjorie and Leonard Vernon, pioneering Los Angeles collectors whose trove surveys the history of photography in the works of 700 artists, including leading 19th and 20th century figures.

Hailed by the museum as its most important gift of photographs to date, the gift increases LACMA's holding from 8,500 to 12,000 images and fills many gaps. Highlights of the new additions will go on view in "A Story of Photography: The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection," opening Oct. 5 in the museum's Ahmanson Building. The exhibition will feature works by W.H. Fox Talbot, Gustav le Gray, Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Steichen, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham.

Annenberg funds paid for a large portion of the photographs; Carol Vernon, the collectors' daughter, and her husband, Robert Turbin, donated the rest. The Annenberg gift also includes substantial support for a new photography study room at LACMA, expected to open in early 2011.

-- Suzanne Muchnic

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