Posted on September 6th, 2010

Faculty News

Summer 2010 – Prof. Patricia Karetzky

Prof. Patricia Karetzky and husband Monroe in Bejing artist Hou Guanbin's studio

During the summer I gave two talks: “Uses of the Past in Contemporary Chinese Art,” at Xiamen University Fujian in June  and “The Use of Hanzi in Contemporary Chinese Art”  at the Seventh International Conference  on Hanzi Calligraphy Education, Capital Normal University, in Beijing on June 29.  I also published an article Cui Xiuwen, Walking on Broken Glass for the Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (vol. 9 no. 3:18-33).

Faculty News

Summer 2010- Prof. Laurie Dahlberg

Count Olympe Aguado, c. 1852

I spent my summer on three areas of work.  First, I did some legwork on my latest project, a study of the 19th-century amateur as the driving force behind the discovery and evolution of photography.  I’m intrigued by the fact that amateurism itself has an evolution that is laid bare in the history of photography.  Early in the century, the Amateur with a capital “A” was a revered individual in Europe, respected for the serious scholarly contributions he made to science and the humanities, in such fields as astronomy, archaeology, history, and by 1839, photography.  But by 1890, thanks to the American entrepreneur/industrialist George Eastman, photography was opened to a new class of small “a” amateurs.  Scientific expertise and received ideas of taste and art were no longer a prerequisite, and amateurism in photography became associated with snapshooters, shutterbugs, camera fiends, and Americans, in short, caricatures of middlebrow aspirations.   I’ll be giving a talk on this new material in October, at Concordia University in Montreal.

I also had some writing deadlines pending, including an article celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of Victor Regnault, one of the major figures in early French photography.  Co-written with Sébastien Poncet, a French historian of science, the article is being offered to an international journal of science for non-specialists.  A book review of The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast will appear next month in, and a review of the exhibition Starburst: Color Photography in America, 1970-1980 is forthcoming in the Winter 2010 issue of Aperture.

All work and no play…so I also worked while playing, restoring my chicken coop from an obscure piece of topiary to a functional building.