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at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Man sitting in front of painted backdrop looking at the camera Woman adjusting her wide brimmed black hat Paige Ramey and Barbara Levine in photo

Barbara Levine and Paige Ramey here!

We have been collecting offbeat vernacular photography for nearly 30 years. We affectionately refer to our collection as PhotoMania to convey the joy and wonder of the objects and the fascination with which we have built the collection.

We are happy to announce the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is now home to our collection!

Framed, hand-painted portrait of woman Man holding magnifying glass in front of eye Person dressed as woman in skirt and halter top sitting on grass

From Museum of Fine Arts photography curators, Malcolm Daniel and Lisa Volpe:

“The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is now home to the Barbara Levine and Paige Ramey Photography Collection, an exceptional cache of prints and photographic objects that together call attention to the significance of photography in our everyday lives. Among all the visual arts, photography has the widest embrace; it is present in a thousand different forms—from the medium’s humble snapshots, to pinnacles of high art. As a museum that aims to represent the entire history of photography, we are proud to become the first institution to acquire more than limited examples of this democratic form, but an extraordinary vernacular collection in its entirety.

“The Barbara Levine and Paige Ramey Photography Collection was carefully and thoughtfully curated around a limited number of interwoven themes and includes unique examples of material that cannot be located in any other private or public collection. Major themes of the collection include African-American Studio Portraits, LGBTQ Life, Mexico and the Border, Altered and Manipulated Photos, Gun Culture, Science and Industry, Women Only, and Sideshow Stars and Superheroes.”

The collection's over 5,000 images and objects will be digitized and available on the museum's website – Yay! Stay tuned for exciting plans about our future projects with the museum and beyond!

Collage of woman sitting on moon and photo of girl super imposed on her head Comic book cover of African American woman photographer Woman with extremely thick and long hair