Margarida Medeiros:

The Archiving Impulse: the Quest for the Patrimony in 19th Century Portuguese Archives

A cooperation between the Photothek of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz and the Università degli Studi di Firenze, Department SAGAS, Prof. Tiziana Serena (History of Photography)

Emilio Biel: Ponte D. Luis in construction, ca. 1883

In this presentation I will show how the photographic impulse to map Portuguese History and Patrimony led in the second half of the 19th century to some important commissions made to great amateur photographers such as Carlos Relvas and, on the other side, led the activities of architects such as Joaquim Possidónio da Silva, who run the magazine "Revista Pittoresca" where he tried to map and systematize the great archeological sites and historical buildings. In this presentation I will focus on the conflict between this archival impulse and the fragmentary qualities of photography and how photographers played with the metonymic property of photography trying to reconstruct the whole picture from these fragmentary images. I will also mention the role of stereoscopy.


Margarida Medeiros is PhD in Communication Sciences with a dissertation on the paradox of photography, between document and construction, working with spirit photography archives and the discourse of photography as truth document.

She teaches at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of Universidade Nova de Lisboa  in the field of Visual Culture and on the relation between Photography and Cinema. She published several books as single author ("Fotografia e Narcisismo - o autorretrato contemporâneo", "Fotografia e Verdade - uma história de fantasmas", "A última imagem - fotografia de uma ficção") and as editor as well as several articles in scientific journals. She also curated exhibitions such as "19th century Portuguese Photography Treasures" (in collaboration with Emília Tavares), "Andar nas Nuvens - duas propostas apra um diálogo entre a terra e os céus" (2016), "Augusto Bobone, Fotoradiografias, 1896" (2014).

In October 2018 she will stay at the Università degli Studi di Firenze as visiting professor in the Department SAGAS within the frame of the program "Erasmus+, Staff Mobility".

23 October 2018, 11:00am

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut

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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