PHSNE member Carrie Cushman, Curatorial Fellow in Photography at Wellesley’s Davis Museum, will speak at the September meeting about an upcoming exhibition “Making, Not Taking: Portrait Photography in the 19th Century.” The exhibit will recreate a 19th century portrait studio amidst selections from the museum’s extensive collection of daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, cartes de visite, cabinet cards, and tintypes.
Cushman’s presentation will focus on some portraits from Japan, which come from a large collection of Meiji-era photography purchased by Mary Alice Knox, a Professor of History at Wellesley College who traveled to East Asia in 1886 expressly to gather materials from which to teach. These large, hand-colored albumen prints were used by Professor Knox in the classroom and became a part of the Davis collection in the 1980s. The collection includes typical photographs made by Japanese photographers for export: images of samurai, Buddhist pilgrims, and Japanese beauties that display traditional material culture. However, Knox also acquired more unusual prints, such as a rare portrait of the Meiji Empress Haruko, 1872 (at right), reflecting her own agenda as a female professor working at an all-women’s college in the late 19th century.
Cushman, the exhibit’s curator, joined the Davis Museum in the fall of 2018 after completing her Ph.D. in the History of Art at Columbia University. She specializes in the history of Japanese photography and wrote her dissertation on Miyamoto Ryuji, the “ruins photographer” of Japan. “Making, Not Taking” will open at the Davis on February 13, 2020 and run through June 7, 2020.
PHSNE meetings are free and open to the public. The meeting is on Sunday, September 8, 2019, and the location is:
Women’s Club Workshop
72 Columbus Street
Newton Highlands, MA
The Board of Directors will meet at 11:00 a.m.
Program begins at 1:30 p.m.