It all began with a handful of cameras. "The exhibit came about because we have a collection of cameras at the museum we were interested in learning more about," says Jennifer Kuehner, director of the Aurora History Museum. "We realized that our collection starts in the '20s and '30s, and we wanted to tell a greater story about the cameras."
The staff then went to work connecting with other museums and organizations, pulling pieces from the Boulder History Museum, the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, Wings Over the Rockies and the Colorado Camera Collectors. The result is an interactive exhibit featuring more than ninety cameras of all shapes and sizes.
The show traces the rise in consumer use of cameras as technology advanced, beginning with folding and box cameras in the 1800s, moving on through the development of the Polaroid camera, and detailing more recent innovations. Part of the motivation behind the show, Kuehner explains, was to illustrate the history of the camera, since technological advancements over the last decade have made the cameraphone so much a part of everyday life.
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Wings Over the Rockies contributed several aerial cameras, originally used by the Lowry Technical School; these cameras, used for mapping, take picture on a much larger scale than most consumer cameras. There are also miniature and detective cameras. And many images from early Colorado photographers are included.
Say Cheese! Cameras (Over)Exposed will continue through March 18 at the Aurora History Museum, 15051 East Alameda Parkway. For more information, go to the museum's website or call 303-739-6660.