There are things nobody would see if I didn't photograph them.
--Diane Arbus, 1972
From the first horses scrawled roughly on cave walls to the latest Pixar film in 3-D, no art form in history has experienced as rapid an ascent -- or such astonishing evolution -- as photography. Through it all, it has remained a vital tool for self-reflection and a compelling product of human creativity. Silent and omnipresent, photography plays a role in all of our lives, every single day -- many times a day -- and yet never loses its inherent power to teach, delight, comfort, or overwhelm us.
This project is ongoing. We've already purchased many significant new works, such as Richard Misrach's Petrochemical America -- which inspired the striking visual style of the hit HBO drama True Detective -- and Robert Polidori's After the Flood, which covers the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster...and we will continue to collect these important cultural and artistic documents. You can browse the newest additions by clicking here. As always, we love requests, so please -- if you don't see your favorite photographer in the stacks, let us hear about it!