The Daguerreian Society

November 1-4, 2007 - Kansas City, Missouri

The Daguerreian Society's 2007 Symposium will be held in Kansas City, Missouri on November 1–4, 2007, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum. This will be a grand celebration for the Hallmark Photographic collection which was recently acquired by the museum, and it promises to be the show of the century! The museum's 165,000 sq. foot, six-year-long expansion includes a gallery designed specifically to display its photographic treasures. The museum's opening exhibition, Developing Greatness: The Origins of American Photography, 1839—1885, surveys the remarkable achievements from the birth of photography in 1839 to the rise of the amateur in the mid-1880s. It will be a great exhibition to be sure but, for our membership, it will be the daguerreotypes that will steal the show—and Keith Davis (the longtime director of Hallmark's fine arts program who now also will be curator of photography at Nelson-Atkins) has gathered many amazing daguerreotypes over the years. Now we get to see them!    Illustrated right: The Fisherman, ca. 1850. Half-plate Daguerreotype. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Read the Museum's press release, Nelson-Atkins Announces Acquisition of Hallmark Photographic Collection (1/5/06). You may also wish to visit the Nelson-Atkins web site. The Hallmark Press Room also offers a brief Press Release regarding the photography collection.

The Symposium will be held at the Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza, located in the heart of Kansas City, overlooking Country Club Plaza at 4445 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64111. Tel: 1-816-531-3000 / 1-800-810-3708. Symposium attendees receive a special rate of $119/night on room bookings during the event. However, please book early, the number of rooms available at this rate is limited! Click here to make your Marriot reservation online.


Symposium Schedule

Here is the current Schedule for our 2007 Symposium (details subject to change):

Thursday, November 1:

Evening Reception at the Nelson-Atkins Museum

Friday, November 2: Speaker Presentations - 9:00AM to Noon, 1:45PM to 5:30PM:

Keith Davis - "The Making of a History: The Origins of American Photography" -- Mr. Davis, longtime Director of the Fine Art Programs at Hallmark and now Curator of Photography at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, will discuss his current exhibition and book, which together present a new perspective on the formative decades of American photography, from 1839 to 1885. Both are drawn solely from the collection that Mr. Davis began assembling in February 1995. In addition to discussing some of the featured works in the book and exhibition, he will present his thoughts on some of the larger challenges of historical research and writing.

Michelle Anne Delaney & Corinne Dune - "Survey of the Hillotype Collection at The National Museum of American History" -- The invention of the Hillotype process or Heliochromy claimed by the Rev. Hill has remained to this day one of the most mysterious and controversial episodes of the beginning of photography in the United States. This paper presents the data gathered during the recent conservation survey, and the ongoing efforts of the Museum to preserve what may be the only surviving evidence of Mr. Hill's historical color experiments.

Gary W. Ewer - "The Lost Children of Daguerre" -- Using contemporary accounts-advertisements and various texts-this paper will discuss some of the daguerreotypes now lost and some of the reasons for the loss. Also to be touched upon will be the occasional finding of images once lost. Most importantly, however, this paper will illuminate the visual record of some of these "lost" daguerreotypes.

Grant Romer - "More Light" -- A New Understanding of the Wolcott Camera and the Life and Achievements of Alexander S. Wolcott and John Johnston The first American photographic patent and the basis for the establishment of the photographic portrait studio business in the US and UK. Recent research on the lives, careers and achievements of Alexander Wolcott and John Johnson has revealed a human drama not previously appreciated by students of the history of photography's first days. Grant Romer will amply illustrate the path of his research and present the case for a re-appraisal of the importance of these two pioneers in shaping the daguerreotype portrait business.

Jean-Pierre Spilbauer - "Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre and his diorama, a unique masterpiece in the world" -- Jean Pierre Spilbauer, veterinarian in Bry sur Marne and Mayor since 2001 of his city of 16.000 inhabitants, leads the project of restoring the last existing diorama of Louis Daguerre. L. Daguerre, bequeathed to his city a rich and unique patrimony: his house, place of memory and his diorama. This painting could change from day light vision to night time vision with the course of the sun. The diorama, first invention of L. Daguerre is considered as ancestor of Cinema.

Ralph Wiegandt & Patrick Ravines - "The Examination and Conservation of the Cincinnati Waterfront Daguerreotype, and Exciting New Research Happening with Daguerreotypes" -- This past year The Conservation Department at George Eastman House has had the great privilege to examine and develop a preservation treatment for the magnificent Cincinnati Waterfront Panorama by Fontayne and Porter. The conservators working on this extraordinary daguerreotype panorama will present their work, and show photo-micrograph views so you can see for the first time the full glory of this masterpiece. You will be able to count the slats in the window blinds, explore the decks of the many riverboats, read the time on the clock tower, and see many, many other details captured on these plates –from across the Ohio River in Newport, Kentucky! Additionally this presentation will outline how we are learning more and more about the daguerreotype through the research at George Eastman House.

Saturday, November 3: TradeFair, Banquet & Auction

10:00 am to 4:00 pm: The DS TradeFair

Evening: Silent Auction, Banquet Dinner, & Live Auction

Sunday, November 4:

Business Meeting

Board Meeting


Would you like to attend? Here is our Registration Form for the Symposium (PDF format).


About the Symposium
The Daguerreian Society sponsors a four day Symposium during the Fall of every year: a full weekend of presentations, a round table discussion and enjoying the company of other persons who love daguerreotypes. Past Symposiums have been held in Rochester, New York; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Columbus, Ohio; Norfolk, Virginia; Boston, Massachusetts; Oakland, California; and Atlanta. Society members receive reduced admission to the Symposiums. The Symposium includes:
  • A Round Table discussion, and Lecture Presentations on the Daguerreotype
  • Exhibitions of daguerreotypes, often in conjunction with an institution
  • The Daguerreian Society TradeFair with dealers from around the U.S. and Canada, offering the world's largest display of daguerreotypes for sale. Symposium attendees receive free early admission (prior to general public admission).
  • An evening Dinner Banquet, which concludes with:
  • A lively Benefit Auction of donated and consigned daguerreotypes