British photographic history

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Roger Taylor awarded Washington DC professorship

One of the world’s leading photographic history experts from De Montfort University (DMU) has been awarded a prestigious professorship from the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., US. The National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) has awarded the 2010 Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professorship to Roger Taylor, Professor of Photographic History, and Senior Research Fellow at DMU in Leicester. His role as the Safra Visiting Professor will involve working with the Gallery to build close connections between the research of curatorial staff and that of visiting scholars to CASVA, whilst also undertaking his own independent research.

Professor Taylor has chosen to use the professorship to undertake research into the memorably-named Linnaeus Tripe, a British photographer he came across when researching his Impressed by Light exhibition. He said: “It’s an unexpected privilege to be offered this professorship. I’ll be researching Tripe’s background in the Madras Infantry, and his innovative role as a documentary photographer. His large format pictures were mostly taken in Burmah and India during the 1850s and are wonderful, but there’s never been major exhibition dedicated solely to his work.”

A recent national review of research in the UK by the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) shows that DMU’s photographic history research is classified as ‘world leading and internationally excellent’. Gerard Moran, Dean of Faculty Art and Design, added: “It’s marvellous that Roger’s visiting professorship at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC should come along to cement the truly international reputation of De Montfort University’s work in this way. We’re looking forward to the many mutual benefits that will emerge for all parties from this valuable association with the NGA.”

Professor Taylor will spend four months at CASVA, beginning from 19 January to 19 May 2010, where he will also be conducting a seminar on the Gallery’s collections.

CASVA at the National Gallery of Art, founded in 1979, is a research institute that fosters study of the production, use, and cultural meaning of art, artifacts, architecture, and urbanism, from prehistoric times to the present. The Center encourages a variety of approaches by historians, critics, and theorists of art, as well as by scholars in related disciplines of the humanities and social sciences.

More information about CASVA is available at

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