The Archive Collection

The roots of this archived collection dates back to the development of the early international salons. The Pittsburgh salon became one of the premier salons in the country. The first annual photography exhibition in Pittsburgh was held in 1886 and continued annually. The first American Photographic Salon was held at the Carnegie Institute in 1905 sponsored by the Photo Section. This salon series ended in 1914 and the Pittsburgh Salon of National Photographic Art was initiated in January 1914 at the Carnegie Institute with seven clubs participating. In 1917 images were accepted from Canada and England so the “National” was dropped from the name.  In 1953 the name was changed to Pittsburgh International Salon of Photographic Art. The oldest salon series in the United States was held at the Carnegie Museum for 67 years until 1972.

IMG_0028ssIt continued at various locations around the city until 1980.  Preparation for these salons began 2-3 months before hand and required 10-12 people to manage all the images. An example of the participation in salons is during the early part of the 20th century, the 1938 Salon had 2389 prints submitted from 642 entrants and 349 images accepted.  During the salons of the 1920’s & 30’s it was common to offer prints for sale and exhibitors would also trade prints, which provided a source of this collection. Orlando Romig, a very active member of the Photo Section from 1939-1964, provided many of the images in the collection.

The Photo Section has a long history of participation in national photography organizations. In December 1920, the Association of Camera Clubs was established and shortly after that the Photo Section joined this association. In 1933, the name was changed to Photographic Society of America (PSA). In 1934 the first national meeting of the PSA was held in Pittsburgh. Our organization continues as an active member of this organization.

IMG_0016ssThe club continues the salon tradition with an annual exhibit in the spring with club members’ participation. The goal is to continue to grow the archive collection with representative award winning images from club members.


Written by Nancy Barnard and based on the book “Pittsburgh Amateur Photographers and Photo Salons” by Valentino Buttignol (2005)

To view the Archive Collection click this link: ACCUMULATUS