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Handmade Photography Today Symposium

Saturday, March 7, 2020 -
11:00am to 5:00pm
Collins Cinema, Davis Lobby, Davis Plaza, and Galleries

This Symposium is postponed.

With an abundance of caution, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College has suspended all public access through March 31st. Public programs have been canceled or rescheduled and gallery access is limited to the Wellesley College campus community. Please call for more information and updates, 781.283.2051.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Making, Not Taking: Portrait Photography in the 19th Century, the Davis Museum presents a day-long symposium to explore contemporary iterations of nineteenth-century photographic processes. From photograms to platinum prints, alternative approaches to automatic point-and-shoot and digital photography have spiked among professional and amateur photographers around the globe in recent years. The boom in what Lyle Rexer has termed “the antiquarian avant-garde” is in part a reaction to the supposedly desensitized nature of digital photography, but it should also be understood in the context of a more widespread turn to the materials, process, and event of photography as a site of knowledge production. We will hear from four acclaimed photographers working in nineteenth-century processes: Myra Greene (ambrotypes), Will Wilson (tintypes), Edie Bresler (cyanotypes), and Takashi Arai (daguerreotypes). The speakers will investigate how the specific material conditions of early photographic formats have the potential to inform and produce alternative understandings of our contemporary relationship to historical imagery.

Free and open to the public, but tickets are required; advanced registration required

Co-hosted with the Photographic Resource Center. Generously sponsored by the Bern Schwartz Family Foundation.

Schedule at a glance
10:00-11:00 Welcome coffee and registration
10:30-11:00 Exhibition tour led led by  Carrie Cushman, Linda Wyatt Gruber ’66 Curatorial Fellow in Photography (RSVP required)
11:15-1:00 Morning session with presentations by Myra Greene and Will Wilson; discussion led by Nikki Greene, Assistant Professor of Art at Wellesley College
1:00-3:00 Lunch break (boxed lunches), 30-min. Exhibition tour led by Carrie, Linda Wyatt Gruber ’66 Curatorial Fellow in Photography (RSVP required), Mobile darkroom photo booth in the Davis Plaza by William Van Beckum
3:00-5:00 Afternoon session with presentations by Edie Bresler and Takashi Arai, discussion led by Patricia Berman
5:00-6:00 Reception
6:00-8:00 Dinner with artists and invited guests

Continue the exploration of nineteenth-century photographic processes in March with the PRC at Lesley University:

PRC Afternoon Nights with Jesseca Ferguson
March 8, 2020
11am - 1pm
Lunder Arts Center, room 003 on the lower level

Join us for this special PRC Nights event, in the afternoon! Artist Jesseca Ferguson works with pinhole photography, 19th century photo processes and collage and will be presenting her work in an informal setting inspiring discussion. Along with her work there will be presentations by three members of the PRC working with similar alternative photographic techniques.

Of her art Ferguson says, "I work with handmade photography and collage in a studio filled with old books and other oddments. Interacting synergistically, these objects enable me to continue my ongoing investigation of the photograph as a story written with light – a story that may, in fact, never have happened." Her pinhole photographs and collaged “photo objects” have been included in solo and group exhibitions internationally and is widely collected. Ferguson has received grants to support her projects from the LEF Foundation; Polaroid Corporation, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding, and others. She lives and works in Boston, MA, and currently teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University.

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