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Lecture Series

Tuesday, November 8- Thursday, November 10, 2011 10am-12pm

The National Museum of American History presented Inventing American Photography: Smithsonian Collections, a lecture series held at the National Museum of American History, Nov. 8-10. The series was a cross-disciplinary, pan-institutional effort to explore research and interpret the vast and extraordinary holdings of early American photography at the Smithsonian.

The series explored how American innovation and invention in the first decades of photography (1840-1860) fostered a thriving and productive community of photographers experimenting and competing at an international level. The advancement of the new medium contributed to an emerging visual culture and development of a distinctive American style of photography.

The participating scholars, scientists and conservators discussed the scientific study and analysis of the Smithsonian’s unique daguerreotype collections, shared Smithsonian-based research on the collections and discussed photography’s contribution to an emerging visual culture.

The Smithsonian’s photography collections and archives comprise one of the world’s leading collections of the extant and earliest works by, and equipment used or manufactured by the influential men and women in the first decades of American photography.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 10:00am-12:00pm
10am Henry Fitz: Printer, Locksmith, Photographer, Telescope Maker
Steven Turner, Curator, Physical Sciences, NMNH
11am An Early Daguerreotype
Hanako Murata, Thomas Walther Project, Asst. Conservator of Photographs, MoMA

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 10:00am-12:00pm
10am John William Draper's Early Research in Radiation—1832-1845
Dr. Gregory A. Wickliff, Associate Professor of English, UNC Charlotte
11amOne Thing New Under the Sun: Morse, Draper, and the Cross-Currents of Early American Photography
Dr. Sarah Kate Gillespie, Asst. Professor of Art History, York College, CUNY

Thursday, November 10th, 2011 10:00am-12:00pm
10amThe Daguerreian World in Color
Kelly Wright, Adjunct Professor, Department of History, University of Cincinnati
11amEuropean Views on Early American Photography
François Brunet, Professor of Art and American Literature, University of Paris; member, L’Institute Universitaire

Click here to view full lecture announcement.

Open Daguerreotype