LEXINGTON — The subtitle of “Lasting Light: 125 Years of Grand Canyon Photography” is a misnomer. The show, which was organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibtion Service, runs through Jan. 6 at the National Heritage Museum. Yes, people have been photographing the canyon for well over a century. Timothy O’Sullivan was the first, in 1872. But the 60 frequently spectacular examples in “Lasting Light” come from just a slice of that span. The earliest one dates from 1972, the latest from 2006.
The canyon presents an irresistible subject to photographers, with its range and delicacy of color, variety of terrain, breathtaking scale, and sheer uniqueness. Does the planet offer a more astonishing sight — or site? “The canyon is so operatic — everything is so over the top there,” writes George H.H. Huey, one of the 27 photographers with work in “Lasting Light.”