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UT's Briscoe Center acquires Robert Polidori photo archive worth $30 million

Eric Webb
Austin 360
"Faxas Residence, Havana, Cuba, 1997" is part of a collection of Robert Polidori photos acquired by the University of Texas' Briscoe Center.

The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History on the University of Texas has acquired the photographic print archive of Robert Polidori, valued at $30 million, according to a news release.

The collection was a gift from an anonymous Chicago-area family, the center says. "Polidori is one of the world’s most acclaimed photographers of human habitats and environments," according to the release. "He is best known for his detailed, large-format color film photographs that explore the built world, capturing layers of history in extraordinary detail."

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Included in the archive of more than 85,000 prints: images of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the ruins of Pompeii, the Château de Versailles, Havana and Chernobyl. Polidori was the staff photographer for the New Yorker magazine.

“I’m honored that my body of work will be a part of the Briscoe Center’s photographic collection,” Polidori said in a statement. “It is of particular significance to me to have my archive at an institution that values images as evidence of history.”

The collection is currently being processed and is not yet open to researchers. Go to cah.utexas.edu for more information.

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