Photography in the Treasury Collection

The Treasury Building is one of Washington's oldest and most prominent landmarks and has captured the attention of artists, photographers and engravers since the completion of the east wing in 1842. The Department is the repository of a large and varied collection of interior and exterior views of the Treasury Building in a variety of photographic mediums: prints, glass slides, negatives, stereoscopic images and tinted images.

Of special significance are the photographs of prominent 19th century photographers such as Matthew Brady and Frances Benjamin Johnston. Unique to the Collection are a large number of stereoscopic cards that document the evolution of this Washington landmark from the mid 19th century. The photographic cards with a pair of images are viewed through the use of a special binocular “stereoscope” that gives the illusion of added depth. This extensive collection of cards show in great detail the evolution of the Treasury Building, the surrounding grounds and the changing neighborhood around 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue.