A new traveling exhibit of historic photographs is now on display at the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort.

Those who come to the exhibit will see some of the following images:

Two friends—both clad in Civil War uniforms—pose together for the camera. One wears Confederate gray; the other, Union blue.

In a 1928 snapshot, a dead sperm whale that washed ashore at Wrightsville beach lies surrounded by spectators.

A larger, more professional photograph of about the same vintage shows a snowy view of Morganton’s Broughton Hospital, part of it still under construction.

These pictures and more than 30 others are part of “Look Again: Discovering Historical Photos,” a traveling exhibit from the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh that is now open at the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort. The free exhibit will run through Sunday, May 5, according to a news release.

The introduction of photography in the mid-1800s forever changed the way we record and remember our personal lives, as well as our community’s, state’s and nation’s history. Some images in “Look Again” show changes over time—in fashion, architecture, landscapes, technology, and society. Other images show faces, some well-know, others known not at all.

The large-scale reprints in the exhibit represent a variety of photographic processes, dating from the mid-1800s through the 1970s. Some of the original images were 19th-century daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes. Others were first printed from turn-of-the-20th century glass-plate negatives. Many were taken on black-and-white roll film of the early 1900s while still others were captured on the new color film of the 1950s and later.

The photographs in “Look Again” are divided into four thematic sections: Telling Stories, Taking a Closer Look, Remembering Faces and Capturing Moments. Each section focuses on stories and interesting details associated with each individual photo, according to the news release.

On Sunday, March 17, at 2 p.m., Eric Blevins, chief photographer at the North Carolina Museum of History, will present a program at Mountain Gateway Museum about images in the state history museum’s collection that didn’t make the cut for the “Look Again” exhibition.

Having worked at the state history museum for 30 years, Blevins is very familiar with its photographic collection and well prepared to discuss its contents and examine why photographs are not only pieces of history but some of our most priceless possessions.

While the program is free, registration is required, as the number of seats is limited. For more information about the “Look Again” exhibit or to register for the program, contact RoAnn Bishop at the Mountain Gateway Museum at 828-668-9259 or roann.bishop@ncdcr.gov.

Mountain Gateway Museum & Heritage Center is a regional branch of the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh and is the westernmost facility in the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ Division of State History Museums.

Nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of historic Mill Creek in downtown Old Fort, the museum uses artifacts, exhibitions, educational programs, living history demonstrations, and special events to teach people about the rich history and cultural heritage of the state’s mountain region, from its original inhabitants through early settlement and into the 20th century.

As part of its education outreach mission, Mountain Gateway Museum also assists other non-profit museums and historic sites in 38 western North Carolina counties with exhibit development & fabrication, genealogical research, photography archives, traveling exhibitions, and consultations.

The museum is located at 24 Water St. in Old Fort just a quarter-mile from Exit 43 off I-40 West. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m. Closed Monday.

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