Special William Morris Society Tour of The Pre-Raphaelite Lens Exhibition at the National Gallery


The Pre-Raphaelite Lens:
British Photography and Painting, 1848–1875
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Saturday, 15 January 2011

Members and friends are invited to a special tour with the exhibition’s curator, Diane Waggoner. Join us for lunch after.

The Pre-Raphaelite Lens is the first survey of British art photography focusing on the 1850s and 1860s. With 100 photographs and 20 paintings and watercolors the exhibition examines the roles photography and Pre-Raphaelite art played in changing concepts of vision and truth in representation. Photography’s ability to quickly translate the material world into an image challenged painters to find alternate versions of realism. Photographers, in turn, looked to Pre-Raphaelite subject matter and visual strategies in order to legitimize photography’s status as a fine art. Lewis Carroll, Julia Margaret Cameron, Roger Fenton, Oscar Gustave Rejlander, and many lesser known photographers had much in common with such painters as John Everett Millais, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and John William Inchbold, who all wrestled with the question of how to observe and represent the natural world and the human face and figure. This rich dialogue is examined in thematic sections on landscape, portraiture, literary and historical narratives, and modern-life subjects.

Diane Waggoner is associate curator in the department of photographs at the National Gallery of Art. She received a PhD in art history from Yale University. Prior to joining the department, she held positions at the Yale University Art Gallery and at the Huntington Library, where she was the curator of The Beauty of Life: William Morris and the Art of Design (2003). Since joining the NGA, she has co-curated many exhibitions. Her co-authored catalogue for The Art of the American Snapshot was the 2008 winner of the College Art Association’s Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award for distinguished museum publication. A specialist in the nineteenth century, she has also published on the photographs of Lewis Carroll.

Saturday, 15 January 2011
11.30 a.m. (meet at entrance to the East Building)
National Gallery of Art
Fourth St. NW
Washington, DC
RSVP to Mark Samuels Lasner
(302) 831-3250

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