2020 Symposium: November 13-15 LIVE On Line!
Talks, tours, benefit auction, trade fair -- enjoy all your favorite Symposium activities in the on-line format that we have all learned to use in 2020.
Registration is by household, not by participant! Take this opportunity to involve others in your family with early photography.
Registration payments can be made through PayPal or your credit card. You do not need to have a PayPal account to donate via credit card. You also can send a check or request to be invoiced.
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Printable agenda in PDF.
All times in the agenda are in the Eastern time zone. Details of the program follow on this page.
- 1 pm: Virtual Smithsonian Museum tours; introduced by Michelle Delaney
- 6 pm: Introduction to the Symposium by Mike Medhurst
- 7 pm (after presentations): Virtual Trade Fair opens for Symposium attendees and members of the Society
- 12 pm: Virtual Trade Fair opens to the public
- 1 pm: Panel, Collectors / Curators: The Story of Two Major Museum Acquisitions of 19th-Century Photography; moderator Chris Mahoney, with Liz Siegel, Jeff Rosenheim, Willie Schaeffer, Bruce Lundberg
- 2:30 pm (immediately following panel): Paddle raise
- 3 pm: Panel, Avoiding fakes and the pain they cause; moderator Mike Medhurst, with Wes Cowan, Perry Frohne, Greg French
- 4:30 pm: Preview of the auction with Q&A
- 6 pm: Benefit auction
- 11 am: Business meeting
- 1 pm: Panel, African American Photography; moderator Greg French, with Makeda Best, Dennis Williams, Craig James
- 3 pm: Panel, Young Collectors; moderator Erin Waters, with Elliot Conte, Liberty Lehr, Michael Scimeca
- 5 pm: Closing event, recap of Symposium, discussion of on-demand and future talks, solicitation of future presentations
- 6 pm: Virtual Trade Fair closes
Virtual Smithsonian Museum Tours
Virtual tours begin Friday at 1pm with an introduction by Michelle Delaney. Details of our tours this year:
- Early Photograph Collections at the National Museum of the American Indian, with Emily Moazami
Emily Moazami, the Supervisory Archivist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian. She has worked for over 15 years with photograph collections and previously served as the Photo Archivist & Associate Curator of Photography at History Colorado and the Photo Archivist at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She has overseen large preservation projects including rehousing NMAI’s entire photographic negative collection. Emily began her museum career in 2004 when she helped rehouse and catalog photographs and Ancestral Puebloan collections at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Emily received her MA in Museum Studies from George Washington University and her BA from the University of Michigan.
- Viral Images: Frederick Douglass, Social Media, Pictures, and Progress, National Museum of African American History & Culture, with Aaron Bryant
On December 3, 1861, abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivered his address “Lecture on Pictures” at Tremont Temple in Boston, Massachusetts. Advertised as “Pictures and Progress,” the lecture celebrated photography and its power to democratize and promote social advancement.
As Douglass stated, “What was once the exclusive luxury of the rich and great is now within reach of all.” Douglass argued that photography was a medium that African Americans could leverage to gain sociopolitical freedoms and counter the stereotypes of popular culture.
Informed by “Pictures and Progress,” this presentation explores objects related to Frederick Douglass in the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s collection to show how Douglass used images and the "social media" of his time to create viral images that celebrated social equality, justice, and African American self-image making.
Aaron Bryant is a museum curator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Prior to the Smithsonian, he was curator of collections and exhibitions at Morgan State University’s James E. Lewis Museum of Art. He has lectured at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Duke, the Metropolitan Museum, the University of Cambridge, Oxford, and the British Museum, and has traveled with the U.S. State Department to present lectures at universities and cultural institutions throughout Barcelona, Seville, and Madrid.
Bryant has received honors from the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library, the New York Public Library, the Maryland Historical Society, the Smithsonian, and the University of Maryland. Additionally, his work also has received honors from Congress, the U.S. Justice Department, and the Royal Anthropological Institute (U.K.).
A commissioner with Baltimore City’s Commission on Historical and Architectural Preservation and Chair of the City’s Public Arts Commission, Bryant earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, his MFA from Yale, and an AB from Duke.
- The Eye of the Sun: Nineteenth-Century Photography from the National Gallery of Art, with Diane Waggoner
Diane Waggoner, curator of nineteenth-century photographs in the department of photographs at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. She received a PhD in art history from Yale University. She previously held positions at the Yale University Art Gallery and The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Since joining the National Gallery in 2004, she has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions, including The Art of the American Snapshot, 1888-1978: From the Collection of Robert E. Jackson (2007), The Pre-Raphaelite Lens: British Photography and Painting, 1848-1875 (2010), Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900 in collaboration with Tate Britain (2013), and East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography (2017). In May of this year, she published the monograph, Lewis Carroll’s Photography and Modern Childhood, with Princeton University Press.
- Analyzing Glass Photographic Plates from Eadward Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion Series, with Miriam Hiebert
The National Museum of American History’s Division of Photographic History is researching hundreds of the Eadweard Muybridge collection glass composite plates from the Animal and Human Locomotion Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1880s. Scientists at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute in conjunction with photography curator Shannon Perich and museum specialist Sarah Oakman have embarked on a new study of the glass deterioration in hundreds of these Muybridge plates.
Miriam Hiebert, Ph.D in Materials Science with a focus on the analysis and mitigation of glass alteration in museums with experience in several microanalytical techniques. Post doctoral researcher in the history of early atomic physics. Smithsonian Fellow working with 19th century glass photographic plates.
Collectors / Curators: The Story of Two Major Museum Acquisitions of 19th-Century Photography; moderator Chris Mahoney, with Liz Siegel, Jeff Rosenheim, Willie Schaeffer, Bruce Lundberg
Avoiding fakes and the pain they cause; moderator Mike Medhurst, with Wes Cowan, Perry Frohne, Greg French
African American Photography; moderator Greg French, with Makeda Best, Dennis Williams, Craig James
Young Collectors; moderator Erin Waters, with Elliot Conte, Liberty Lehr, Michael Scimeca