Teaching with Photographs in the Collection of the Mead Art Museum: Art, Science, and History, January 20 - 21, 2011.Guest Scholar: Keith F. Davis, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.


Overview and Schedule

Participants learned about the history, techniques, and subjects of photographs from the nineteenth and earlier twentieth centuries, and explored work from many countries and by photographers including Atget, Stieglitz, Lange, and Abbott. In interactive sessions participants discussed the photographs in terms of their importance for history, literature, geography, psychology, and social commentary. Early photographic techniques were investigated in terms of optics and chemistry. The seminar also investigated ways faculty can develop innovative teaching strategies using these works of art in a wide variety of disciplines.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Session 1: A Revolution in Seeing: The Daguerreotype in America

Session 2: Looking at Photographs: A Technical History

Session 3: The Chosen Few: What Makes a Photographic Masterpiece

Session 4: Photographic Style: Cultural and Individual Visions

Friday, January 21, 2011

Session 1: A History of War Photography

Session 2: Photographs as Documents: Nineteenth-Century Topographics

Session 3: Photographs as Documents: Representing The Other

Session 4: Integrating the Mead’s Photography Collection into Course Curricula.

Guest Scholar: Keith F. Davis

Keith F. Davis is Senior Curator of Photography at the Nelson-Atkins and also serves as an advisor to the Hall Family Foundation. He received a master’s degree in 1979 in art history from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. After a research internship at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, 1978-79, he became Curator of the Fine Art Collections, Hallmark Cards, Inc. Upon the gift to the museum of the Hallmark Photographic Collection, in December 2005, Davis became the Nelson-Atkins’s founding curator of photography. Since 1979, he has organized some 80 exhibitions, many of which have been toured to leading museums across the United States and, internationally, from Sydney, Australia, to Lausanne, Switzerland. In addition to teaching and lecturing widely on the history of photography, he is the author of nearly twenty catalogues and books, including An American Century of Photography, From Dry-Plate to Digital: The Hallmark Photographic Collection, 2nd edition (Abrams, 1999); The Origins of American Photography, From Daguerreotype to Dry-Plate, 1839-1885 (HFF/NAMA/Yale, 2007); and The Photographs of Homer Page: The Guggenheim Work, New York 1949-50 (HFF/NAMA/Yale, 2009). His various awards include a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1986-87) for his work on the Civil-War era photographer George N. Barnard. He was honored to be featured in James Stourton’s Great Collectors of Our Time: Art Collecting Since 1945 (Scala, 2007).