"There is no foreign land; it is the traveler only that is foreign."

Those words, written in 1883 by Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, encapsulate the role and responsibility of the traveler — namely, to be wary of his perceptions. What may be "other" to him may be familiar to someone else.

"Cargando leña, Santa María de Jesús," Guatemala 1988, by Guatemalan photographer Daniel Chauche. | (The New York Public Library Digital Collections / The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs)

It is this duality of perception — between the viewer and the viewed — that the New York Public Library is putting on display with its evocative new exhibit, Viewpoints: Latin America in Photographs.

"I wondered about our perception of and our encounters with foreign countries versus what foreigners would like us to see," Elizabeth Cronin, the New York Public Library's assistant curator of photography, explained in an email interview. "I think the idea of these different perspectives is always relevant, but maybe even more so today within the current political climate."

With its diverse geography and rich culture, Latin America provided the ideal incubator for this visual experiment. And luckily, the New York Public Library was sitting on an immense photography archive from the region that dates back at least 150 years.

"In a collection as large as the library's, there is always room for discovery," Cronin said. "Certain images which are not great on their own work very well in a trajectory."

"Coffee Picker, São Martinho," Brazil 1936, by American photographer Margaret Bourke-White. | (The New York Public Library Digital Collections / The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs | Estate of Margaret Bourke-White/Licensed by VAGA, New York, New York)

"Untitled (Man with llama)," Peru 1940-1949 (approximate), by Peruvian photographer Martin Chambi. | (The New York Public Library Digital Collections / The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs)

"Studio portrait of an unidentified Peruvian woman," Peru 1860-1880 (approximate), by Peruvian photography studio Courret Hermanos, co-founded by French photographer Eugenio Courret, who settled in Peru in the 1860s. | (The New York Public Library Digital Collections / The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs)

Viewpoints: Latin America in Photographs features 104 images taken in Latin America from the 1860s through the present. The exhibition invites viewers to move through both time and perspective; photographs are presented in parallel, with one wall featuring works by native Latin Americans, and the other presenting works from foreigners visiting the region.

"Destruction of the siege of Puebla," Mexico 1863, by French photographer Louis Edouard Roussel. | (The New York Public Library Digital Collections / The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs)

"High road, Atitlán, Guatemala," 1880-1899 (approximate), by British diplomat and explorer Alfred Percival Maudslay. | (The New York Public Library Digital Collections / The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs)

"Costa de Valparaiso," Chile 1890-1899 (approximate), by Chilean photographer Hans Frey. | (The New York Public Library Digital Collections / The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs)

The exhibition's geographical scope and broad time span allow for a variety of photographic styles and elements to mingle in one space. An image from the late 19th century is carefully posed and composed, for example. A century later, a photograph takes a more fly-on-the-wall approach.

"Many of these older objects … were collected as visual information," Cronin said. "The photographs and albums were made and collected to show foreigners what could be found in these distant cities and countries."

Seen together, the works by local photographers — like Peruvian Martin Chambi and Chilean Hans Frey — and the foreigners' photos — like those from Americans Ed Grazda and Margaret Bourke-White — entice viewers to "marvel at that which is foreign or to reminisce about the familiar," Cronin said in a press release for the exhibition.

"Peru," 1977, by American photographer Ed Grazda. | (The New York Public Library Digital Collections / The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs)

"Women," Venezuela 1997, by Brazilian photographer Valdir Cruz. | (The New York Public Library Digital Collections / The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs)

**Viewpoints: Latin America in Photographs is on view at the New York Public Library's Stephen A. Schwarzman Building through June 28. Learn more about the exhibition here.**