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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

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 in detail
10:00 Welcome coffee and registration
10:30-11:00 Exhibition tour led by Carrie (RSVP required)
11:15-11:30 Introduction by Carrie Cushman, Linda Wyatt Gruber ’66 Curatorial Fellow in Photography
11:30-12:00 Presentation by Myra Greene
12:05-12:35 Presentation by Wil Wilson
12:35-1:00 Discussion and Questions 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 (2:00-2:30, RSVP required), Mobile darkroom demonstration in the Davis Plaza by William Van Beckum, Visiting Professor of Photography

3:00-3:10 Welcome back, introductions for afternoon session
3:10-3:40 Presentation by Edie Bresler
3:45-4:15 Presentation by Takashi Arai
4:15-4:45 Discussion and Questions led by Patricia Berman, Theodora L. and Stanley H. Feldberg Professor of Art, Wellesley College
4:45-5:00 Wrap-up

5:00-6:00 Reception
6:00-8:00 Dinner with artists and invited guests