Evening lecture

Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby: Egypt's Pyramids and Representation

Organized by the Max-Planck-Research Group "Objects in the Contact Zone – The cross-cultural Lives of Things"

Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, author of Colossal. Engineering the Suez Canal, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Panama Canal (2012), will share her work on the representation of Egypt's pyramids from the Napoleonic Description of Egypt to photographic stereoviews. Besides discussing the specific formal challenges posed by representations of the Great Pyramids in different media, she will foreground their centrality to modern conceptions of scale as well as labor.


Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Humanities, specializes in 18th- through early 20th-century French and American art and visual and material culture, particularly in relation to the politics of race, slavery and colonialism. Grigsby writes on painting, sculpture, photography and engineering as well as the relationships among reproductive media and new technologies from the 18th to the early 20th centuries.

She is the author of Extremities. Painting Empire in Post-Revolutionary France (2002); Colossal. Engineering the Suez Canal, Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Panama Canal. Transcontinental Ambition in France and the United States in the Long Nineteenth Century (2012); and Enduring Truths. Sojourner's Shadows and Substance (University of Chicago Press, 2015). Her current book-in-progress, Creole Looking. Portraying France's Foreign Relations in the Nineteenth Century (in negotiation with Penn State University Press) examines France's relationship to the Caribbean and Americas. She is also curating Sojourner Truth, Photography and the Fight Against Slavery, an exhibition of her collection of civil war photographs given to the Berkeley Art Museum (July 27-October 23, 2016).

Her recent articles include: "Blow-Up! Dynamite, Photographic Projection, and the Sculpting of American Mountains," in Jennifer Roberts, ed., Scale, University of Chicago and Terra Foundation, 2016; "Still Thinking about Olympia's Maid," Art Bulletin, December 2015; "Cursed Mimicry: France and Haiti Again (1848-1851)," Art History, February 2015; "Loss and the Families of Empire. Thoughts on Portraits painted in India by the Irish artist Thomas Hickey," in Kathleen James-Chakraborty, ed., Irish Orientalism, forthcoming, Ashgate, 2016; and "Two or Three Dimensions? Scale, Photography and Egypt's Pyramids" in Ali Behdad, and Luke Gartlan, eds., Photography's Orientalism: New Essays on Colonial Representation, Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty, 2013, pp. 115-128.

19 May 2016, 6:00pm

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz

Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Firenze


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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