May 6 Symposium: American Material and Visual Culture of the “Long” Nineteenth Century

David Jaffee's picture
May 6, 2016
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies

American Material and Visual Culture of the “Long” Nineteenth Century

Friday, May 6, 2016    8:30am–3:15pm

What does it mean to consider visual materials as material culture or to think about material culture as visual?  What can these approaches tell us about objects, images, and their relationship in the nineteenth century? While visual culture studies have emphasized the act of seeing as embedded within disciplinary or “scopic” regimes, material culture studies have long analyzed artifacts to understand their expressive function in society.  However, this situation has been changing. The convergence of visual and material culture offers the opportunity to consider the possibilities of such a scholarly turn. Participants in this symposium will consider these issues from a variety of fields.

8:30–9am                    Breakfast

9–9:05am                    Jeffrey L. Collins, Bard Graduate Center


9:05–9:15am               David Jaffee, Bard Graduate Center


9:15–10:45am             Session One      

                                    Chair: Catherine E. Kelly, University of Oklahoma

                                    Erika Piola, Library Company of Philadelphia

                                    “Making the Invisible Visible: Reading Nineteenth-Century Raised Printing for the Blind”

                                     Christopher Lukas. Purdue University

                                     “The Matter of Images: Embellishment, Textual Illustration, and the Literary Annuals of the 1830s and    40s”

 10:45–11am                Coffee Break

 11am–12:30pm           Session Two

                                     Chair: Zara Anishanslin, College of Staten Island, CUNY

                                     Layla Bermeo, Harvard University; Smithsonian American Art Museum

                                     “War Paintings: The Making and Materiality of Nineteenth-Century Comanche Shields”

                                      Elizabeth Hutchinson, Barnard College, Columbia University

                                     “Framing Catlin’s Indian Gallery”

 12:30–1:45pm             Lunch Break

 1:45–3:15pm               Session Three

                                     Chair: Joshua Brown, Graduate Center, CUNY

                                     Matthew Fox-Amato, Washington University in St. Louis

                                     “Civil War Iconoclasm”                                                                             

                                     Annie Rudd, Columbia University

                                     “Posing a Problem: Studio Portraiture, the Objects of Photography, and the Pursuit of Genuine Likeness, 1839-1900”


The symposium is sponsored by the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Seminar on New York and American Material Culture.


Contact Info: 

David Jaffee
Professor and Head of New Media Research

Bard Graduate Center:
Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture
38 West 86th Street, New York, NY 10024
T 212.501.3047
F 212.501.3045