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An Axis Between Old and New: Exhibiting Photography at the National Gallery

Event Details

An Axis Between Old and New: Exhibiting Photography at the National Gallery

Time: November 14, 2012 from 5:30pm to 7pm
Location: Research Forum South Room, The Courtauld Institute of Art
Street: Somerset House Strand
City/Town: London WC2R 0RN
Website or Map:
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7872 0220
Event Type: talk
Organized By: History of Photography research seminar series
Latest Activity: Aug 15, 2012

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Event Description

Photography is an art form of modern times, but it also arises from artistic traditions that long predate its advent. The new National Gallery exhibition, Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present, is a three-way project which argues that historical art was an engine for early photographic invention, and that both those precedents inspire today’s photography.

This exhibition takes a different tack to surveys of well-known relationships between fine art and photography. This is not a review of photography’s many ruptures with the past, nor does it inventory the coincidences with contemporaneous art, whether Pre-Raphaelite, impressionist, or surrealist. Photography’s debt to historical art is more than imitation or homage; historicism validates new art in the conventional terms of the old. Seduced by Art aims to develop an artistic dialogue between past and present, and this seminar will address that axis with an introduction to the exhibition.

The History of Photography research seminar series aims to be a discursive platform for the discussion and dissemination of current research on photography.  From art as photography and early photographic technology to ethnographic photographs and contemporary photography as art, the seminar welcomes contributions from researchers across the board, whether independent or affiliated with museums, galleries, archives, libraries or higher education, and endeavours to provide scholars with a challenging opportunity to present work in progress and test out new ideas.

The seminars usually take place once a term, on Wednesday evenings at 5.30pm in the Research Forum. The papers, and formal discussion, are followed by informal discussion and refreshments.


Speaker(s): Dr. Hope Kingsley (Curator, Education and Collections, Wilson Centre for Photography)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Julian Stallabrass ( and Sara Knelman (


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