The Getty Center

Museum Lecture Hall
N Sepulveda Blvd & Getty Center Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90049

The Huntington

Robert C. Ritchie Auditorium
1151 Oxford Rd
San Marino, CA 91108


Dr. Costanza Caraffa
Costanza Caraffa
Leiterin der Photothek
Telefon: +39 055 24911-64
Fax: +39 055 24911-40
Links: Opac

Photo Archives V: The Paradigm of Objectivity

Symposium in the Photo Archives series

Organized by Anne Blecksmith (The Huntington), Costanza Caraffa (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut), and Tracey Schuster (Getty Research Institute), and sponsored by the Getty Research Institute and The Huntington


Photographic reproductions of works of art and other research objects have long been considered neutral documents capable of supporting the research methodologies of art history and related disciplines. The introduction of digital imaging saw the adoption of the same model, in that digital copies are presumed closer to the original photograph.

Today, the neutrality of photography has been deconstructed; nevertheless, the rhetoric of objectivity continues to shape the uses of analog and digital photographs, which are deemed "evidence," even if one is aware of the possibility of technical manipulation. Similarly, there is little awareness that archives are far from neutral guardians of memory.

This symposium explores the relationship among photographic reproduction technologies, archival practices, and concepts of objectivity, with an interdisciplinary outlook and a focus on art history.


Confirmed participants:

Paul Conway, University of Michigan
Virginia Heckert, J. Paul Getty Museum
Friederike Maria Kitschen, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Hilary Macartney, University of Glasgow
Issam Nassar, Illinois State University
Melissa Renn, Harvard Business School
Casey Riley, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Martha A. Sandweiss, Princeton University
Joan M. Schwartz, Queen's University, Ontario, Canada
Jennifer Tucker, Wesleyan University
Jennifer Watts, The Huntington
Kelley Wilder, De Montfort University, Leicester, England
Glenn Willumson, University of Florida


Photo Archives is an open series of international scholarly activities dedicated to the interaction between photographic archives, photography, and academic disciplines. Learn more about past Photo Archives conferences here.



Admission to this event is free. To register for the first day of the symposium at the Getty Center, please make a reservation by visiting To register for the second day, please visit The Huntington online at

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