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Conference: Szathmari, Pioneer Photographer and his Illustrious Contemporaries

On the occasion of Szathmari’s birth bicentennial (1812-2012), the “G. Oprescu” Institute of Art History takes great pleasure in inviting you to the Szathmari, Pioneer Photographer and his Illustrious Contemporaries conference to be held on 14-16 May, 2012, at the Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania.

Conference Objective and Goals

The three-day conference will present the results of new, unpublished research on Szathmari’s work and in works by other outstanding photographers of his time. The proceedings of the conference will be published in a book.


Conference Themes

- Carol Popp de Szathmari (1812-1887), his life and his work

- Outstading European photographers in mid and late 19th century

- Szathmari and his contemporaries (statesmen, painters, writers, journalists)

- Szathmari’s albums and pictures in state and private collections outside Romania

- Scientific investigation into Szathmari’s photographs

- Conservation and preservation issues related to Szathmari’s plates and prints


We have the pleasure to announce that our keynote lecturer is Prof. Larry J. Schaaf, an independent photo-historian based in Baltimore, USA, and an expert on the invention and early history of photography. Dr. Schaaf is the author of numerous book.  He was the 2005 Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University and is the founder and Editor of the online Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot.

 Related Events

Conference participants will enjoy the unique and unprecedented opportunity to view a selection of the most important pictures by Szathmari in the collections of the Library of the Romanian Academy.  The Cotroceni National Museum is organizing a Szathmari retrospective exhibition. One night the participants to the international conference will be the guests of that museum. A guided tour of Bucharest, pointing out the monuments pictured by Szathmari will complete the conference offering the participants a bit of 19th century Romania. The event will close with a gala projection of the documentary movie The Eyewitness (2002, directed by Gabriel Cobasnian, screenplay and starring A-S. Ionescu).

The organizer is providing free accommodation to all participants.    


Please send the title and an abstract of your paper (max. 300 words) as well as a curriculum vitae, to the following address: 

Deadline: 31st March 2012

The papers can be filed in English, French, German, Italian or Romanian but the language used during the conference will be English and Romanian only. Authors of selected papers will be notified by 15 April 2012.  We would highly appreciate if you would be prepared to submit your paper of max. 10.000 words (notes and bibliography included) before 30 April 2012.


For further information please contact

The board of organization:

Adrian-Silvan Ionescu, Alan Griffiths, Ruxanda Beldiman, Cornelia König

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