The 2017 19th-Century Photography Annual Conference and Show
Presented by the Daguerreian Society
October 26-29, 2017, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, Convention Center, Washington, DC.
Conference fees include the Thursday evening Grand Reception, the full Friday Conference Program, and the Saturday evening Buffet Banquet at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, followed by the Silent & Live Benefit Auction.
Conference registration also includes early bird admission at 9:15 a.m. to the Saturday 19th-Century Photography Show, held in the "Capital BCD" rooms. The general public is also welcome to the Photography Show at 10:00 am for an admission fee of $10.
You may reserve your suite at the Embassy Suites at our special rate using the website below.
Embassy Suites by Hilton, Convention Center
900 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Note that some adjustments to this program might be made. Check back closer to the Conference date for a final program.
Wednesday, 25 October
10:00 am - 4:00 pm: Registration, lobby of Capital Rooms
Thursday, 26 October
08:45 am: Board Meeting, District Room
10:00 am - 4:00 pm: Registration, lobby of Capital Rooms
07:00 pm: Reception, Capital B Room
All day: Tours (tour logistics may be found at the bottom of this web page)
Friday, 27 October
Morning - Afternoon: Speaker presentations, Capital C Room
9:00 — opening remarks by Jeremy Rowe
9:10 - 10:00 — Ann M. Shumard
10:10 - 11:00 — Jane Turano-Thompson
11:10 - 12:00 — William Stapp
Lunch 12 - 1:30 (90 min)
1:30 - 2:20 — Mary Panzer
2:30 - 3:20 — Dr. Mike Robinson
3:30 - 4:20 — Michael Lehr
10:00 am - 04:00 pm: Registration, lobby of Capital C Room
Saturday, 28 October
08:00 am: Trade Fair setup, Capital BCD Rooms
09:00 am: Trade Fair entrance for Symposium registrants, Capital BCD Rooms
10:00 am: Trade Fair entrance for general public ($10), Capital BCD Rooms
06:00 pm - 07:00 pm: Reception, Capital CD Rooms
07:00 pm - 11:30 pm: Banquet and Auction, Capital AB Rooms
Wednesday-Friday: Room hopping
You can add your name to the room hopping list at the registration table, and pick up a room tag for your door.
Thursday-Saturday: Hospitality Suite #1502 open
Conference Speakers and Talks
BRILLIANT COMETS: Previously Unknown Daguerreotypes of Maria Mitchell and Margaret Fuller
Presenter: Jane Turano-Thompson
To be a brilliant, independent woman in the 19th century was never anything less than a struggle, as it remains today. This presentation will consider the lives of two remarkable women, Maria Mitchell and Margaret Fuller, based on previously unknown daguerreotypes of them. Both child prodigies, both feminists, their astounding intellects set them apart from regular society and brought them countless challenges throughout their lives.
Although they interacted with other brilliant achievers of their time, including Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Lucretia Mott, and many others, they struggled to forge their own paths, as scholars, as well as women.
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889), astronomer, discovered a previously unknown comet in 1847. Born on Nantucket, she was awarded a gold medal by the King of Denmark, and in 1848, became the first woman elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As professor of astronomy, she was the first person appointed to the faculty of Vassar College. Although her reputation insured the new college's survival, she found that she was being paid less than her male counterparts, and fought for equal pay for women.
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850), writer and critic, known for her exceptionally keen mind, was an advocate for equal rights for women, Native Americans, and African-Americans, and America's first foreign correspondent, sent in 1846 to Europe for the New York Tribune. She died in a shipwreck off the coast of New York, while returning to America in 1850.
While there are similarities in their stories, there are also major differences. Mitchell's life was long and steady, giving off a dependable, constant beacon. Fuller's path was brief and intense, burning across the sky like a comet herself.
Jane Turano-Thompson, a graduate of Smith College, is an independent scholar and art historian, specializing in 19th-century American art, culture, and photography. Formerly Editor of THE AMERICAN ART JOURNAL and Consulting Editor of that magazine, she has written for numerous art publications and has lectured at the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, the American Antiquarian Society, the New England American Studies Assoc., Smith College, Middlebury College, the New Bedford Whaling Museum, and numerous other institutions throughout the Northeast. She is a contributor to the "Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History" published in 2007 by Oxford University Press. Several images from her collection were exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and published in the accompanying book, Photography and the American Civil War, by Jeff Rosenheim, in 2013. In 2015, she was the featured speaker at "Exploring the Eye of History," a symposium of the New England Archivists Association.
Collecting Early Photography for the National Portrait Gallery
Presenter: Ann M. Shumard
In the nine years since the Daguerreian Society last held its Symposium in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery has continued its quest to acquire early photographic portraits of historically significant Americans. Through gifts, auction purchases, and private sales, the museum has been fortunate in adding 29 daguerreotypes and 5 ambrotypes to its collection. The scope of these acquisitions has been wide ranging-from a jewel-like, sixteenth-plate daguerreotype of actress and theatrical manager Laura Keene (by Rufus P. Anson) to a lustrous, whole-plate ambrotype of American landscape painter John Frederick Kensett (by Mathew Brady). The sitters represented have been equally diverse and include Native American Chief Governor Blacksnake (recorded in a quarter-plate daguerreotype by F.C. Flint), abolitionist Lucretia Mott (captured in a half-plate daguerreotype by Marcus Aurelius Root), and West Point cadet and future Confederate officer John Pelham (pictured in a half-plate ambrotype by Brady). While strengthening the museum's ability to fulfill its mandate to collect portraits of those individuals "who have made significant contributions to the history, development, and culture of the people of the United States," these acquisitions also enable Portrait Gallery to document the evolution of early photographic portraiture in this country.
Following a brief overview of the history of photographic collecting by the National Portrait Gallery, this talk will feature acquisitions highlights from 2008 to the present.
Ann M. Shumard is Senior Curator of Photographs at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. Since joining the Portrait Gallery's Department of Photographs in 1979, she has worked to build, diversify, and interpret the museum's photography collection, which now exceeds 11,000 objects and includes more than 150 daguerreotypes.
She is the curator of the current NPG exhibition "Antebellum Portraits by Mathew Brady," which traces the trajectory of Brady's early career through daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, salted paper prints, engravings, and advertising ephemera. Her recent exhibitions include "The Meade Brothers: Pioneers in American Portrait Photography" (2013); "Bound for Freedom's Light: African Americans and the Civil War" (2013); "In the Groove: Jazz Portraits by Herman Leonard" (2016); and "Double Take: Daguerreian Portrait Pairs" (2016).
In addition to her exhibition credits, she has contributed to a number of publications, including the books Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits (2007); and Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection (2013); Portrait of a Nation (2016) and Engaging Smithsonian Objects through Science, History, and the Arts (2016).
Rediscovering John Moran and the Nineteenth Century Photographic Capitol of America
Presenter: Mary Panzer
John Moran's (1831-1902) photographic career spanned the middle decades of the 19th century, when he lived in Philadelphia, home to some of the nation's best and best known practitioners, amateur and professional. Yet the significance of these men (there were few women until dry plates became common) and this place has too long remained in the historical shadow of New York. This talk will consider Moran and his world using primary sources, and Moran's own words, to show how and why he believed photographs could be fine art. It will further discuss the ways in which his work "vanished" into Philadelphia collections and libraries, and was recovered anew by a generation of curators and historians in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Finally, this talk will use Moran and his career to reveal a generation of photographers whose work helped define the new medium in terms if printmaking, lithography, and commercial art as seen and made in Philadelphia during the city's most chaotic and productive decades.
Mary Panzer is a recognized scholar of photography and cultural history. Her 1982 exhibition for Yale University Art Gallery, "Philadelphia Naturalistic Photography," called attention to the generation of art photographers who preceded Alfred Stieglitz. She has contributed to exhibitions and catalogues on photographers of the nineteenth century such as Mathew Brady, Rudolf Eickemeyer, Jr., William H. Rau, and twentieth century photographers such as Richard Avedon, Philippe Halsman and Nickolas Muray. From 1992-2000 she served as Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian Institution, where she proudly acquired the portrait of John Brown by Augustus Washington. As a freelance curator she organized the archive of H.C. Anderson, published in Separate, But Equal: The Mississippi Photographs of H.C. Anderson (2002), and acquired by the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Panzer is co-author of the award-winning THINGS AS THEY ARE: Photojournalism in Context since 1955 (2005), the first international survey of magazine photography. Her articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, American Photo, Aperture and Vanity Fair. Panzer has lectured at the National Gallery in Washington DC, Princeton University, Rutgers University, University of Southern California, University of North Carolina, Ryerson University and at many museums, including the Chrysler Museum, The Fogg Museums, the National Portrait Gallery in London and the National Galleries of Scotland. Mary Panzer holds a PhD in American Studies from Boston University and lives in Manhattan and Rochester, NY.
Daguerre's Legacy: Bon Chance ou bon génie?
Presenter: Mike Robinson
This talk retraces Daguerre's pathway of discovery and innovation described in historical accounts, and combines this historical research with artisanal, tacit, and causal knowledge gained through replicative practice to shed new light on the history of the Daguerre's photographic research.
The daguerreotype process has a unique material story about its creation. Clues from the historical record have been re-examined and replicated to understand and illustrate fifteen years of Daguerre's scientific work from 1829 to 1844. This lecture offers fresh insight into Daguerre's involvement with the materiality of the silver plate, iodine sensitizing and plate acceleration, and optics.
This talk is derived from my doctoral thesis, "The Techniques and Material Aesthetics of the Daguerreotype," which rigorously explains by empirical evidence how, why, and in what ways the daguerreotype process evolved. Its trans-disciplinary methodology, combining traditional research, tacit and gestural process knowledge, and laboratory synthesis refutes the speculative views of highly regarded photo historians, thus significantly correcting the historical record.
Dr. Mike Robinson is an artist-practitioner, teacher, conservator, and historian of the daguerreotype. In June 2017 he earned his PhD in Photographic History with a dissertation titled "The Techniques and Material Aesthetics of the Daguerreotype."
He has researched and written on the studio practice of Southworth and Hawes for the Young America catalogue and for the Daguerreian Society Annual.
Mike taught graduate and undergraduate courses in 19th Century Photographic Processes at Ryerson University in Toronto, and has lectured and taught daguerreotype workshops in Toronto, Rochester, New York City, Lacock Abbey UK, Bry-sur-Marne France, and Kolomna Russia.
John Beasley Greene: An American Calotypist and Archaeologist in Egypt and Algeria
Presenter: Will Stapp
Based on thirty-five years of research by the speaker, this talk will provide a brief overview of the life and career of John Beasley Greene (1832-1856), who is recognized today as one of the great photographers of the 19th century.
The only son of a rich expatriate American banker who died in Paris in 1850, J. B. Greene inherited the social status and financial independence to devote himself to his joint avocations of photography and Egyptology. A gifted pupil of Gustave Le Gray, whose waxed-paper process he used in the Middle East, he was also a protégé of Emmanuel, Vicomte de Rougé, head of the Egyptian Department of the Louvre, who tutored him in hieroglyphics. No dilettante, Greene was inducted (as a foreign member) into the prestigious Société asiatique, the French archaeological society, in 1853, when he was just 21, and was a founding member of the Société française de Photographie in 1854, when he was 22. Greene made two extended trips to Egypt (in the winter seasons of 1853-54 and 1854-55), taking photographs on both trips and conducting an archaeological dig on the second, about which he published a report. He made two trips to Algeria in the winter season of 1855-56 to participate in the excavation of an archaeological site west of Algiers, and traveled east to Constantine, an ancient city in the mountains 200 miles northeast of Algiers, before returning to Paris. Greene's last and most haunting photographs were taken in and around Constantine. He returned to Cairo in November 1856, where he died
suddenly of an unidentified "cruel illness."
Greene's premature death resulted in almost immediate obscurity: he remained a largely forgotten until the late 1970s, when his photographs were included in exhibitions for the first time since 1856 and vintage prints began to appear on the market. The first major museum exhibition devoted to John Beasley Greene work is being organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to open in November 2018.
William Stapp is a photographic historian, independent curator and photography appraiser in Washington, D. C. He has a graduate degree in the History of Photography (MA, 1976), with over forty years' experience in working with photographs and photographic collections, and twenty years' experience as an appraiser of fine art and historical photographs. He was the founding Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (1976-1991), and subsequently served as Senior Curator of Photography at George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY (1991-1994), and as Head of Interpretation and Visiting Curator of Photographs at the National Science + Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in Great Britain (1995-1997). He was a Guest Scholar in the Department of Photographs, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA (1989), and a Lisette Model/Joseph G. Blum Fellow at the Canadian Centre for the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1994.
Will Stapp has published, organized exhibitions and lectured widely on a wide range of photographic subjects, including the introduction of photography to America; the history of photography in Maryland; the origins of photojournalism; portraiture; the first Americans to photograph in Egypt; photography in Asia in the 19th century; the work of the contemporary Canadian artist-photographer Evergon; and contemporary circus photographs. One of his major interests is in the photographs and photographers of the American Civil War, in particular the lives and work of Alexander Gardner and Timothy O'Sullivan. He has been researching the life and work of John Beasley Greene (1832-1856) since 1981.
Presenter: Michael Lehr
This year I am soliciting members to submit an image they found that launched part (or all) of their collection in a previously unexpected direction. Finding a great unusual image can make collectors rethink their selections. We all have tangents in our collections and we would like to hear about yours. Please illustrate this short (~2-3 minute) talk with the image you found, and include some examples of how it affected your collecting. The images do not need to be masterworks, the focus is on sharing the passion for collecting and the images and stories that bring us together.
Michael Lehr is an avid collector and dealer of 19th-century cased images. He has spent his entire life surrounded by some of the greatest images from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Tours must be registered for in advance. Most are already full, but if you'd like to look for remaining openings or cancellations, contact Cindy Motzenbecker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All tours are Thursday, October 26, 2017.
Please arrive at the meeting point 15 minutes before a tour.
Please be aware that you may have to go through a security checkpoint, so leave your pocket knives in your room!
National Portrait Gallery 10:00 am - 11:00 am
National Portrait Gallery 02:00 pm - 03:00 pm
Victor Building, 750 Ninth Street NW Suite 2100.
Curator ~ Ann Shumard
Behind the Scenes tour of National Portrait Gallery photography collections with Curator Ann Shumard.
Meeting Point: Victor Building front desk.
National Museum of American History 10:00 am - 11:00 am
National Museum of American History 02:00 pm - 03:00 pm
Curator ~ Shannon Perich
Behind the Scenes tour of the History of Photography collections.
Meeting Point: NMAH staff entrance, 1st floor.
Smithsonian American Art Museum 11:15 am - 12:15 am
Curator ~ John Jacob
Behind the Scenes collection tour. Before the advent of color film, daguerreotypes and paper photographs were colored using a variety of techniques. As photography permeated American visual culture in the nineteenth century, hybrid forms of picture-making emerged. Whether they feigned oil paintings or frankly admitted their photographic nature, hand-colored photographs were an inexpensive way for Americans to own and enjoy photography. Merry Foresta and John Jacob, the first and current curators of photography at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, will present rarely seen early hand-colored photographs acquired by the museum from the collections of Bates and Isabel Lowry and Charles and Judith Moore.
Meeting Point: Victor Building front desk (750 9th St. NW, between G & H Streets)
Library of Congress 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Curator ~ Beverly Brannen
Behind the Scenes collection tour. Curator Beverly Brannen and Adam Silvia will lead a tour of the Prints and Photographs Collection, and a newly acquired group of daguerreotypes.
Meeting Point: LOC Madison Building entrance (Independence Avenue, between 1st and 2nd Streets).
National Gallery of Art 02:00 pm - 03:00 pm
Curator ~ Diane Waggoner
NGA Exhibition and collection tour. Curator Sarah Greenough will lead a 30 minute tour of the exhibition, Posing for the Camera: Gifts from the Robert B. Menschel, followed by a 30 minute behind the scenes showing of nineteenth century photography from the collections in the NGA study room with Curator Diane Waggoner.
Meeting Point: National Gallery of Art, 7th St. entrance.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden 02:00 pm - 02:30 pm
Curator ~ Stephanie Lussier
Behind the Scenes tour of photography collections, including small collection of daguerreotypes, and a juxtaposition of Thomas Eakins works along newer acquisitions by Japanese artist Takashi Arai. Tour held in the Conservation Lab with Associate Curator Mika Yoshitake.
Meeting Point: HMSG entrance.