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Photographs, Museums, Collections


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Table of Contents

List of Plates and Figures Notes on Contributors Preface 1. Between Art and Information: Introduction, Elizabeth Edwards (De Montfort University, Leicester, UK) and Christopher Morton (Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, UK) PART I BECOMING COLLECTIONS 2. Multiple Collections and Fluid Meanings: Alfred Maudslay's Archaeological Photographs at the British Museum, Duncan Shields (De Montfort University, Leicester, UK) 3. Self Assembled: Isabella Stewart Gardner's Photographic Albums and the Development of her Museum, 1902-1924, Casey Riley (Boston University, USA) 4. 'An Invitation to Visit Windermere': Moments of Departure and Return in the Biography of the Bryan Heseltine Collection, Darren Newbury (University of Brighton, UK) 5. Private to Public: the David MacGregor Maritime Photographic Collection, Eleni Papavasileiou (SS Great Britain Trust, UK) PART II SCIENTIFIC DOCUMENTS 6. Collecting Portraiture, Exhibiting Race: Augustus Pitt-Rivers's Photographs at the South Kensington Museum, Christopher Morton (Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, UK) 7. Collecting Photographs, Constructing Disciplines: the Rationality and Rhetoric of Photography at the Museum of Economic Botany, Caroline Cornish (Royal Holloway, UK) 8. Photographs as Scientific and Social Objects in the Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Geoff Belknap (University of Leicester) and Sophie Defrance (University of Cambridge) PART III SHAPED IN HISTORY 9. Revolutionary photographs: the Museo de la Revolucion, Havana, Cuba, Kristine Juncker (De Montfort University, Leicester, UK) 10. Photography in Jersey under German Occupation: the 1940 'Order Concerning Open-air Photography' and Photography at the Societe Jersiaise Museum, Gareth Syvret (De Montfort University, Leicester, UK) 11. From Them to Us: Changing Meanings of Photographs of Maori at Te Papa, Athol Mc Credie (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa) PART IV CURATORIAL PRACTICES 12. Unwrapping the Layers: Translating Photograph Albums into an Exhibition Context, Ulrike Bessel (DASA Working World Exhibition in Dortmund, Germany) 13. To Collect and Preserve Negatives: the Eli Lotar Collection at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Damarice Amao (Paris Sorbonne, France) 14. Looking for Bolton in the Worktown Archive, Caroline Edge (Bolton Museum/University, UK) Index

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A fascinating exploration of the importance of photographs in the history of museum collections and collecting, featuring a broad range of global case studies.

About the Author

Elizabeth Edwards is Research Professor of Photographic History and Director of the Photographic History Research Centre, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. Christopher Morton is Curator of Photograph and Manuscript Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, UK and Lecturer in Visual and Material Anthropology at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, UK.


Whoever suspected that museums' photography collections could be digitized and then discarded will change their mind after reading this groundbreaking book that brings together leading academics and curators. Anonymous and mostly uncatalogued photographs are restored with not only their biographies, but also a material future, as a key to a broader understanding of collecting history. * Dr Costanza Caraffa, Head of Photo Library, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max Planck Institute, Italy *
With breadth of vision and depth of understanding, this editorial collaboration constitutes a critical addition to the self-reflexive literature on museum history and practice, at the same time enlarging the history of photography as a field of study and shifting it onto a robust institutional plane. * Joan M. Schwartz, Professor, History of Photography, Queen's University, Kingston, Canada *
This book is a compilation of essays about collecting and curatorial practices unique to photographic collections. The editors argue that issues related to the technical, ephemeral, and serial qualities of photographs, along with the medium's relatively short history, have led to their marginalization within museums, yet these collections are 'increasingly being understood as knowledge-objects in their own right.' An introductory chapter provides a theoretical and historical overview of the place of photographic collections in the museum setting. Developed as part of an international conference held in Leicester, England, and organized into five topical sections, the essays explore several notable photographic collections, the information value of photographs, the history of collecting photographs, and curatorial practices for photograph collections. Essays detailing how portrait photography solidified Charles Darwin's professional network and aided his work on evolution, examining photographs documenting revolution in Cuba of the 1950s and 1960s, and creating images of the Maori people of New Zealand illustrate the breath of this volume. It will be of particular interest to students of photographic history and museum professionals. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate, research, and professional collections. -- P. A. Mohr, independent scholar * CHOICE *

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