Photo Archives V: The Paradigm of Objectivity

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.

Photo Archives is an open series of international scholarly activities dedicated to the interaction between photographic archives, photography, and academic disciplines.



Supported by

25 February 2016, 9:30am

The Getty Center

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

26 February 2016, 9:00am

The Huntington

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


This event will be documented photographically and/or recorded on video. Please let us know if you do not agree with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz using images in which you might be recognizable for event documentation and public relation purposes (e.g. social media).


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