The Developing Room is co-sponsoring a workshop and two keynote talks addressing histories of the illustrated periodical, to be held at the New York Public Library.
At our workshop, we have asked participants to address a fundamental question: how do we isolate and define the illustrated periodical as an object of research? In approaching this question, presentations and two keynote talks will explore the magazine as a physical object and, in turn, a complex cultural artifact firmly embedded in any one location and time.
Print Matters: Histories of Photography in Illustrated Magazines
April 8-9, 2016
New York Public Library
5th Avenue and 42nd Street
Workshop sessions in Room 201
Keynote talks in Celeste Bartos Education Center
Convened by Antonella Pelizzari (Hunter College, CUNY) and Andrés Mario Zervigón (Rutgers)
the Developing Room at the Center for Cultural Analysis, Rutgers University; the Photography Collection, New York Public Library; and the Department of Art and Art History, Hunter College
Office of the Dean of Humanities, SAS, Rutgers University; Art History Department, Rutgers
Between 1910 and 1970, the vast majority of photographs printed and consumed around the world appeared on the pages of illustrated magazines. These pictures rarely surfaced as autonomous entities, set off from their paginated context as the sort of discrete objects that generally figure in our standard histories of photography. Instead they were presented in carefully edited sequences, set cheek-by-jowl against other photographic series, and placed into the integrated company of text and graphic work. Unlike the single prints from which it was heavily drawn, the illustrated magazine was a broadly expansive and alluring amalgam that regularly arrived on private doorsteps and local kiosks before spilling into the everyday lives of consumers of goods and politics. As the Internet does today, the illustrated magazine significantly defined a global visual knowledge of the world.
Despite such potent omnipresence, however, we have yet to devise a method for studying this plenitude of mass-printed matter that foregrounded the photograph so powerfully. At our workshop Print Matters, we are encouraging participants to address this lacuna by exploring a fundamental question: how do we isolate and define the illustrated periodical as an object of research? In approaching this question, we have encouraged studies that explore the magazine as a physical object and, in turn, a complex cultural artefact firmly embedded in any one location and time.
Our analytic point of departure is that illustrated magazines took shape as a rich ecosystem of multi-media representation, and provided an important transactional frame where artists, authors, advertisers and readers coalesced into communities not just through printed text, graphic work and image, but also, and most especially, through photography. This two-day discussion revisits paradigmatic cases of magazine histories in Europe and the United States. It also covers illustrated periodicals from areas of the world where the format thrived but has, until now, received limited scholarly attention, including Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia and Latin America.