Mitch Epstein, artist and president, Black River Productions Ltd. The first exhibition to focus exclusively on photographs made in the eastern half of the United States during the 19th century, East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography showcases some 175 works—from daguerreotypes and stereographs to albumen prints and cyanotypes—as well as several photographers whose efforts have often gone unheralded. In this lecture held at the National Gallery of Art on May 21, 2017, in conjunction with the exhibition, artist Mitch Epstein shares how the distress of the New England industrial town of his childhood and the vibrancy of the city of New York, where he’s lived for 45 years, have informed his photographic sensibility. Epstein traces his work, drawn from the eastern United States for nearly five decades, and considers it in the context of his 19th-century predecessors. East of the Mississippi is on view from March 12 through July 16, 2017. This program is made possible by the James D. and Kathryn K. Steele Fund for Photography.