UBS has contributed 166 photographs to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, marking the firm’s most significant donation by number of works at once.

The collection of pictures by 96 artists from the 19th and 20th centuries depicts a varied story of land usage, addressing a variety of subjects such as the influence of industrialisation, environmental transformation, and enjoyment of the rich and diverse American landscape.

John Szarkowski, a photographer, and curator built the photographic collection for PaineWebber, which was purchased by UBS in 2000 and formed part of the UBS Art Collection.

Along with smaller pieces, the donation includes 96 notable American photographers, including as Dorothea Lange, Alfred Stieglitz, and Carleton Watkins. 75 new or underrepresented photographers—including women and artists of colour—are included in the compilation.

Mary Rozell, global head of the UBS Art Collection, expressed: “We are thrilled to be able to donate this group of historically significant photographs to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. This gift demonstrates UBS’s ongoing commitment to sharing its artworks with a wide audience.”

“The Gallery’s status as a national museum with free admission to the public, together with its recognised scholarship in the field of photography, make it the ideal institution to receive these distinctly American photographs. The museum is positioned to preserve this valuable visual record of our country’s unique landscape for generations to come, exhibiting these works in context and providing access for research.”

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The National Gallery holds around 22,000 photographic works from 1839 to 1950. It highlights crucial individuals and 20th century American practitioners. Visitors can learn about photography through exhibitions, books, and the Photograph Study Room.

Sarah Greenough, senior curator, and head of the department of photographs at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC added: “This wonderful gift from UBS adds important work to the National Gallery’s photography collection that will allow us to explore how artists have viewed our use of and relationship to the land over the last 160 years.”

Famous western expeditionary photographers’ images from the 1860s and 1870s, which highlight the West’s strength and promise, are additionally included in the collection along with more obscure pieces that subvert this narrative by seeing landscapes as both a haven and a battlefield.