Sitting With Sarony

Feb. 23, 2022

In this lecture, David Shields, professor of English language and literature at the University of South Carolina, discusses how Napoleon Sarony (1821–1896) singlehandedly dismantled the traditions of portrait photography in 19th-century America and devised a new photographic ideal.

Shields will reconstruct the innovations of Sarony-style portraiture, exploring the idea of personality as performance, providing an anatomy of posing, suggesting why it was Sarony's method that convinced the U.S. Supreme Court that photography deserved copyright protection, and speculating about Sarony's contribution to the historical trajectory of photography from stills to motion pictures.

The Ritchie Distinguished Fellow Lecture.


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