The Daguerreian Society

The Daguerreian Society's 2009 Symposium was held in Philadelphia from Thursday, November 12 to Sunday, November 15, 2009.

2009 Symposium Attendees
Group photo for the 2009 Symposium in Philadelphia (click image to enlarge)

As plans are made for the 2010 Symposium they will be posted here. In the meanwhile we will leave up information regarding the 2009 Symposium.


Featured Exhibition: Catching A Shadow: Daguerreotypes in Philadelphia, 1839-1860

Curator: Sarah Weatherwax, Curator of Prints and Photographs, The Library Company of Philadelphia.

This exhibition will explore how news of the daguerreotype spread in Philadelphia both to the scientifically-inclined men who flocked to see daguerreotype exhibitions and who sat for their portraits. It will highlight the careers of selected Philadelphia daguerreotypists including Robert Cornelius, Marcus Root, and the Langenheim brothers. Many examples of daguerreotypes from the Library Company's collection as well as examples from other institutional collections will be featured along with early books about daguerreotyping, studio advertisements, and related ephemera.

Tours:

Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Project Basho

We open the 21st Symposium with a celebration Thursday evening at the I Photo Central and Vintage Works, Ltd. Gala Reception courtesy of Alex Novak, in the historically significant Library Company of Philadelphia.


Speakers

The Society has an outstanding lineup of speakers for this, our 21st Symposium.

Alex Novak, moderator, with panelists J.J. Chen, Adrienne Lundgren and Grant Romer: Conservation Issues and the Daguerreotype: A Panel Session. This opening session will discuss all details concerning evaluation, preservation, and current and future conservation techniques for the daguerreotype, including issues relating to identification, coloring, what treatment to use under what circumstances, proper sealing and glass materials, etc.

Cliff Krainik will speak on John Plumbe in Philadelphia. The illustrated lecture will present Plumbe's daguerreian career from 1842 to 1848, together with his activities as a printmaker and book and magazine publisher.

Jeff Richman will present some interesting conclusions about Green-Wood's Great Daguerreians. Brooklyn, New York is home to Green-Wood Cemetery, and was the place to be interred for 19th century Americans. Mr. Richman, Historian at Green-Wood, will discuss many of the pioneering Daguerreians, including Francois Gouraud (sent by Louis Daguerre in 1839 to introduce photography to America), Professor John Draper (whose gravestone inscription gives him credit for having taken the first daguerreotype portrait), Samuel F.B. Morse (who sent the news to America of Daguerre's invention, then became one of America's first photographers), Edward Anthony (who saw Gouraud's samples in New York City, learned photography from Morse, and became a leading supplier of daguerreian and other photographic supplies), Alexander Beckers (daguerreotypist and inventor of the Becker revolving viewer for stereographs), Gabriel Harrison (lens maker, daguerreotypist, actor, and painter), and Charles C. Harrison (camera and lens manufacturer, as well as daguerreotypist), rest at Green-Wood.

Jean-Pierre Spilbauer, Mayor of Bry-sur-Marne, since 2001, a city of 16,000 inhabitants. Mayor Spilbauer's topic: Discoveries in the Restoration of Daguerre's 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 the ancestor of Cinema.

Sarah J. Weatherwax, Curator of Prints and Photographs, will discuss the Library Company of Philadelphia's current exhibition, Catching A Shadow: Daguerreotypes in Philadelphia, 1839-1860. This exhibition explores how news of the daguerreotype spread in Philadelphia both to the scientifically inclined men who experimented with the new process and to the public who flocked to see daguerreotype exhibitions and who sat for their portraits. It will highlight the careers of selected Philadelphia daguerreotypists including Robert Cornelius, Marcus Root, and the Langenheim brothers. Many examples of daguerreotypes from the Library Company's collection as well as examples from other institutional collections will be featured along with early books about daguerreotyping, studio advertisements, and related ephemera.

Elena Simonova-Bulat, Photograph Conservator at Harvard University Library, presents Preservation Daguerreotypes at Harvard. There are more than 3,000 daguerreotypes in Harvard collections. The most famous daguerreotypes by Samuel Dwight Humphrey and John Adams Whipple are among of them. Harvard has a Photograph Preservation Program, sponsored by Andrew W. Mellon.

Matthew R. Isenburg, collector extraordinaire, will discuss The Many Faces of Daguerre. This final segment of the day will portray Daguerre as shown in trade cards, statuary, stamps, coin medals, steel and wood engravings, lithographs, collectors cards, cigar rings, post cards, crystalotypes, cdvs, woodburytypes, cabinet cards and of course daguerreotypes of Mr. Daguerre.


Symposium Headquarters

Crowne Plaza Philadelpha Main Line

The Symposium headquarters will be the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Main Line, 4100 Presidential Blvd., Philadelphia, PA 19131.

We strongly suggest you make your Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Main Line reservations now, and also that you consider coming to Philadelphia a few days early. Three institutions will be offering "Behind the Scene" tours on Wednesday, November 11 and Thursday, November 12, so arriving early will give you the opportunity to see the daguerreian gems off the City of Brotherly Love.

Just a short reminder that Passkey at the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Main Line will be available to members until Tuesday, October 27, 2009, the "cut-off date." Reservation requests received after that date will be offered at group rate based on availability.

Room rate: $109 with one complimentary buffet breakfast per room per day.

Just click on this link to be taken to the dedicated Passkey Web site allowing you to make room reservations at the Daguerreian Society's negotiated rate: Passkey.

Alternatively, you can go to the Passkey page by cutting and pasting this URL into your browser: https://resweb.passkey.com/Resweb.do?mode=welcome_ei_new&eventID=1076279.

Members with concerns for a room with ADA accommodations, please contact our Crowne Plaza Meeting Director, Maura Riccardella, directly at 1-215-220-6405.

If you prefer to make your reservation via the phone, use the toll-free number for Passkey Housing/Reservations: 1-888-233-9527.

The Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Main Line provides lodging in Philadelphia in the center of everything Philadelphia has to offer. The Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Main Line is also conveniently located near Philadelphia attractions including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, award winning restaurants, and the city's trendiest neighborhood, Manayunk. Within minutes you will find Bala Cynwyd, the Philadelphia Zoo, downtown Philadelphia, Historic Valley Forge National Park and Plaza and The Court at King of Prussia (largest mall on the East Coast). Conveniently located 1/4 mile off I-76, only 11 miles from Philadelphia International Airport and minutes to downtown Philadelphia.

Directions to the hotel can be found here.


2009 Symposium Schedule

Wednesday, November 11

Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts Tours

Project Basho Tours

7:00 - 8:30 pm: Gallery Opening of Chester County Historical Society's The Daguerreotype: Portraiture at the Dawn of Photography, Crowne Plaza Philadelphia Main Line hotel

Thursday, November 12

Philadelphia Museum of Art Tours

Project Basho Tours

7:00 - 9:00 pm: Gala Reception sponsored by Alex Novak of I Photo Centeral and Vintage Works, Ltd. at the Library Company of Philadelpha

Friday, November 13

8:30 am - 5:15 pm: Symposium

Conservation Issues and the Daguerreotype: A Panel Session

Moderator: Alex Novak

Panelists: J. J. Chen, Adrienne Lundgren and Grant Romer

Cliff Krainik, John Plumbe in Philadelphia

Jeff Richman, Green-Wood's Great Daguerreians

Jean-Pierre Spilbauer, Discoveries in the Restoration of Daguerre's Diorama

Sarah J. Weatherwax, Catching A Shadow: Daguerreotypes in Philadelphia, 1839-1860

Elena Simonova-Bulat, Preservation Daguerreotypes at Harvard

Matthew R. Isenburg, The Many Faces of Daguerre

7:00 - 9:00 pm: Project Basho Reception with the daguerreian artist Takashi Arai

Saturday, November 14

8:00 am: TradeFair Dealer Setup

9:00 am: TradeFair Opens for Symposium Registrants

10:00 am - 4:00 pm: TradeFair Open to the Public

6:00 - 7:00 pm: Cocktail Party Cash Bar and Silent Auction

7:00 - 10:00 pm: Banquet, Awards and Benefit Auction

Sunday, November 15

10:00 am - 12:00 pm: Business Meeting


Symposium and TradeFair Registration

Would you like to attend? Registration forms are being sent out in Newsletters. The form is also available in PDF format here.


About the Symposium
The Daguerreian Society sponsors a four day Symposium during the Fall of every year: a full weekend of presentations, discussions 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 and Sacramento, California; Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Dearborn, Michigan; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Kansas City, Missouri; Newport, Rhode Island; and Washington DC. Society members receive reduced admission to the Symposiums.

The Symposium includes:

  • 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


Daguerreian Society TradeFair


2008 Symposium
The Daguerreian Society's 2008 Symposium (our 20th!) was held in Washington, DC. We filled the Washington Marriott, and of course every private museum tour in Washington was fully subscribed. Our hats are off to curators Carol Johnson at the Library of Congress, Michelle Anne Delaney and Shannon Perich at the National Museum of American History, and Ann Shumard at the National Portrait Gallery for going above and beyond the call of duty to facilitate and make those tours so memorable for us. And the TradeFair pulled in more walk-ins than ever before.

Dennis Waters deserves a huge round of applause for being the first among us to sponsor the Gala Reception Thursday evening. The Kogod Courtyard was an extraordinary venue for us to gather and refresh ourselves, while taking in Larry West's gem of an exhibit!

The Benefit Auction held at the Symposium banquet offered a fine selected of donated or consigned items in both live and silent auction formats. Images of lots offered in the live auction and auction results can be found here

For a full report on the Society's Washington Symposium, see the Issue 4, 2008, of the Newsletter. An on-line copy of this newsletter (in PDF format) can be found here.

Bob Lansdale, the Daguerreian Society's official photographer, has posted 213 photos from the 2008 Symposium on the Internet at The Kodak Gallery.

20th Annual Symposium Group Photo in Washington, DC.
Perhaps one of the most complete shots taken at any Symposium, the attendees had just held still for three minutes for each of the daguerreotypes that were made. There is a lot of comic relief in this picture, showing the wonderful time had by all. The enclosed setting was in the breath-taking Robert & Arlene Kogod Courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery.

2008 Symposium Attendees
Group photo in the Robert & Arlene Kogod Courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, Nov. 07, 2008 (click image to enlarge)


More Details of Past Symposia

The links below give you access to all the details of past Daguerreian Society symposia:

2008 Symposium

2007 Symposium