Paul Strand. Wall Street, New York. 1915

study days

Twentieth-Century American Photography: a thematic history NB: This event is now online

  • Thursday 27 January 2022
    (11am-4.15pm)
  • Lecturer: Ben Street

NB: DUE TO THE RAPID SPREAD OF THE OMICRON VARIANT THIS STUDY DAY WILL NOW BE HELD ONLINE VIA ZOOM

These lectures will look at twentieth-century America through the lens of its photographers. Taking a thematic rather than chronological approach, each lecture will hone in on specific images made by a diverse range of photographers, to build up a collage-like portrait of the American century.

Lecture 1 The City

The first lecture will look at how the rise of the city parallels that of photography. Works by, among others, Alfred Stieglitz, Walker Evans, Gordon Parks will provide a framework for thinking about cities as places of self-expression, conflict and liberation.

Lecture 2 The Land

Photographs by Ansel Adams, Tina Modotti, Edward Weston and others will be a guide to consider how photography tells a story of shifting relationships between the human and the environment.

Lecture 3 The Face

Then we will look at the photographic portrait in twentieth-century American art. Shifting ideas of national, political and personal identity can be traced in works by Diane Arbus, Nicholas Nixon, Cindy Sherman, among others.

Lecture 4 The Body

Finally we will look at images of the human body in the American setting, as a means of thinking about how photography imagines our experience of place. Works by Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange, Nan Goldin and Jeff Wall will be explored thinking about the body and its relationship with its place.

Lecturer

Ben Street is an art historian, lecturer and author of numerous books on art for children and adults. He is a researcher and tutor for the University of East Anglia and the University of Oxford and has been employed as an educator and lecturer for many museums in the UK and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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Online event

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