The talk provides a preview of a 16-chapter book Keith is working on about early European photography. It is be loaded with images from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's collection as Keith goes through his thoughts on each chapter. This talk is a fascinating insight into a premier curator's thought process when constructing what will be a major treatise on the subject.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum is renowned for its influential holding of American daguerreotypes, and its publications and exhibitions on the subject. Selections of these works have been presented in several major exhibitions, including “Mirror with a Memory: The American Daguerreotype” (2001), “Developing Greatness: 19 th century American Photographs” (2007), “In the Looking Glass: Recent Daguerreotype Acquisitions” (2014), and “Golden Prospects: Daguerreotypes of the California Gold Rush” (2019).
Keith F. Davis is Senior Curator, Photography at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Davis received an M.A. in art history from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, and held a research internship at the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York, in 1978-79. He became curator of the Hallmark Photographic Collection in 1979 and, upon the gift of that collection to the Nelson-Atkins in late 2005, became founding curator of photography at the museum. He has curated nearly 100 exhibitions and has lectured extensively on the history of the medium in the U.S. and abroad. He is the author of thirty books and catalogues, including The Photographs of Ralston Crawford (2018); Multitude, Solitude: The Photographs of Dave Heath (2015); The Photographs of Ray K. Metzker (2012); The Origins of American Photography (2007); and An American Century of Photography: From Dry-Plate to Digital (1999).
Presented on October 24, 2020.