Photography and Video

The Henry Art Gallery is fortunate to count a remarkable breadth of photographs and video works as key holdings in its permanent collection. This collection represents the history of photography since its inception as well as provides an exemplary range of digital and video works by notable contemporary artists.

The Henry is indebted to a diverse group of donors who have cultivated and indelibly shaped the museum’s permanent collection, particularly Drs. Joseph and Elaine Monsen. In 1979, the Monsens donated 109 photographs to create the Monsen Study Collection of Photography. Along with excellent contemporary examples, the Monsens were particularly prescient in acquiring 19th century works. In 1997, a major donation from The Boeing Company combined with a generous gift from the Monsens brought 380 photographs into the museum’s permanent holdings, beginning the Joseph and Elaine Monsen Photography Collection. The photography and video collection has continued to grow substantially throughout the years and is the Henry’s fastest growing sub-collection.

This digital gallery and timeline are not intended to serve as a definitive authority of technical or conceptual innovations, but rather as a resource focused on the strengths of the Henry’s collection. Explore specific works highlighted from the museum’s collection to learn how each plays an integral role in the Henry’s holdings and in the timeline of photography and video.

Further explore the entire breadth of the photography and video collection through the Henry’s online collection database.

Special thanks to: Elizabeth Brown, Paul Cabarga, Kim Coulter, Jill Hardy, Misa Jeffereis, Sara Krajewski, Andrew O’Connor, Judy Sourakli, Zoe Viklund, Lekha Hileman Waitoller, and Erin Weible.