Modern Photographers

Today that photo collection has grown from those original 125 to over 75,000 - including photos from the premier of that first-ever exhibit! With these added photos comes a far more comprehensive knowledge of our history, one that we are excited to share with you through this new exhibit! You can enjoy this exhibit online, or through our physical display at the Museum's Carnegie Building.

While exploring, we invite you to ponder on the impact of photography on your understanding of your own history. As we curate photo's to tell the story of Anacortes, billions are simultaneously curating their own histories through social media accounts and an increasingly integrated relationship between the physical and digital world. What will be the important photos of today for the people 50 years from now? Where or who will they come from? In the 150 years of photography covered in this exhibit, Anacortes goes from a world of black and white to color, physical to digital. How will the next 150 years pan out? Perhaps photography will be as antiquated as paintings on the walls of a cave, or perhaps it won't. We'll have to wait and see.

Modern Photographers V2

Photography becoming more accessible in the mid-century was merely a precursor to the revolution in consumer photography that would follow. More Anacortes photographers emerged from this era than any before, so many that our current list of them is only scratching the surface! From artists, to journalists and... for the first time ever - hobbyists, the beauty of Fidalgo island was being captured from all angles, by all types of people.

Leading the charge was Matt Brown. In his youth, Brown rubbed shoulders with past Anacortes photographic masters such as John Brogan and Ferd Brady, continuing their photographic lineage into the new century. Brown took the second Anacortes all town photo on the 4th of July, 1987, the first being done in July, 1890 - it has since become a yearly tradition. He was also instrumental in building a photographic community in town with other modern photographers such as Dick Garvey and Lewis Jones.

WF 0042 town photo 1890 July 4

Anacortes' first town photo, taken on July 4th, 1890, by J.O. Booen


Anacortes' second town photo taken nearly a century later on July 4th, 1987, by Matt Brown

Photo and camera shops aimed at both the professional and the layman popped up around this time. Chuck Finn offered photo development and was an early adopter of digital photo processing. While Glen and Sacha DesJardins offered various photographic wares through, The Business. Photographic clubs and classes boomed in popularity, many of the prominent photographers of the era - Desjardin's and Garvey included, also taught photography professionally.

The Business

"Glen and Sacha DesJardins of The Business, 1717 Commercial Ave., offer complete photographic retails and sales and service, "Featherstop" bird feeders and birdseed and thousands of used books and comic books."