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Egypt Recovered: Early Photographic Surveys and the Development of Egyptology (lecture)

Date: Thursday, March 30, 2006
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Free; a ticket is required.

This lecture by historian of photography Kathleen Stewart Howe explores the construction of the photographic record for the developing discipline of Egyptology in conjunction with the exhibition Antiquity & Photography: Early Views of Ancient Mediterranean Sites.

From its earliest days, photography was used as a tool for recording and reconstituting the complex monuments of ancient Egypt. The earliest sustained photographic investigations of Egyptian antiquity were undertaken either by self-identified scholars or by amateurs seeking to capitalize on the interest in views of ancient Egypt.

At the very time these photographic surveys were being made, the focus of Egyptology was shifting from the collection of antiquarian texts and objects to the investigation of sites through systematic excavation. Photography, which was seen as a new, objective, and mechanical record of physical reality, became a key tool in this new approach. Yet the visual strategies of image selection, viewpoint, and framing echoed the print illustrations from earlier generations of travelers' accounts.

About Kathleen Stewart Howe
Kathleen Stewart Howe is the Sarah Rempel and Herbert S. Rempel '23 Director of the Museum of Art and Professor of Art History at Pomona College and the author of several books on photography, including Excursions along the Nile: The Photographic Discovery of Ancient Egypt; Felix Teynard: Calotypes of Egypt, A Catalogue Raisonné; and Revealing the Holy Land: The Photographic Exploration of Palestine. She is currently at work on a book outlining the connections between photography and archaeology in the 19th century.

Pyramids of Giza / Frith

How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.