Sheldon Museum: Picturing Difference – Photography, Race, and Democracy in the 19th Century


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In this talk, Dr. Smiley will discuss American daguerreotype portraiture, its uses as both as a scientific instrument and as a means of picturing loved ones, as well as the photographic portrait as a medium of democratic participation, particularly for African American, Asian, and women subjects. Smiley will explore how nineteenth-century photographic portrait studios shaped conceptions of “self” and “other” and the sometimes-unlikely places where we may uncover these visual histories in museums and archival collections.

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Producer: Henry Sheldon Museum