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Thursday, April 20 • 8:00am - 9:00am
Photographs as Cultural Objects in Library Ecosystems

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The relevance of photographs not only in shaping art history but also as cultural objects in their own rights has been discussed in recent years by leading international scholars highlighting innovative collaborative projects and scenarios in individual collections. These studies have been instrumental in debunking the general perception that photographs are simply derivative secondary sources, surrogates, or even neutral objective visual resources
(Caraffa, C. (2019). “The photo archive as laboratory. Art history, photography, and materiality.” Art Libraries Journal, 44(1), 37-46. doi:10.1017/alj.2018.39). Yet photography holdings and their bibliographies in art libraries remain relatively invisible. In general library- and special collections, photographs coexist in all sorts of formats with papers and correspondence living in archives of scholars, galleries, artists, and in books. And whether in their analog or digital form, they are not just documentary static images or anonymous documents. They range widely physically as standalone individual objects (from small polaroids and slides to large oversize prints framed as art objects), and conceptually, as they live within sequential narratives, such as photo albums, editioned portfolios, books, and photobooks. They may be extremely rare and irreplaceable documents of ephemeral events, or unique photo-objects combined with text as conceptual art pieces.


Isotta Poggi

Associate Curator of Photographs, Getty Research Institute

avatar for Jon Evans

Jon Evans

Chief of Libraries and Archives, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
avatar for Spyros Koulouris

Spyros Koulouris

Gennadius Library, American School of Classical Studies

Thursday April 20, 2023 8:00am - 9:00am CDT
Alberto 3/4 Av. Juárez 70, Colonia Centro, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06010 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico