Events | Exhibition Lecture | “The History of Landscape Photography”

Thursday, August 25      5:30 p.m.

Marilyn Laufer, Ph.D., “The History of Landscape Photography”


In conjunction with the current LRMA exhibition, Marilyn Laufer, Ph.D., director of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts at Auburn University, will explore how photography has allowed artists to examine man’s place in the natural world. On the centennial of the National Park Service, founded August 25, 1916, she will also comment on the role that the photographers played in creating the National Park system.


One of the ongoing subjects of western art history has been the examination of man’s place in the natural world. Since the invention of photography in the 19th century, this theme has motivated the artist behind the camera. Photographers have used the depiction of landscape as an expression of diverse ideas such as the loss of nature to industrialization, the politics of colonization and expansionism, ecological preservation, environmental education, and the business of tourism. In many ways these ideals and issues continue to motivate and inspire photographers working today.


Marilyn Laufer is director of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University. With a bachelor of arts degree from Douglass College of Rutgers University in New Jersey and a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., Laufer has balanced her career between museum work and teaching, having served on faculty at the University of South Dakota, Marshall University, and Auburn University. She currently lives in Auburn, Alabama with her husband Tom Butler, and their three opera-loving dachshunds–Carmen, Siegfried, and Isolde.

Become a museum member for special discounts, newsletters, invitations, and more!


Your support of exhibitions, programs, and our educational mission is important!


Serve the museum and our community by becoming a member of the Guild.

Skip to content