Thursday, March 2
5:30 – 7:00 pm
In this richly illustrated lecture, Christopher Steiner will explore the use of early photography in capturing and preserving memories of travel, tourism and leisure. Drawing on the vast collection of images showcased in the current exhibition It’s Only a Paper Moon” Souvenir Photography in America, 1870-1950, Professor Steiner will trace the history of studio photography at world’s fairs, carnivals, tourist attractions, and downtown arcades.
One of the most curious aspects of early souvenir photographs is the prominence of the fake and the artificial – families posing in front of painted backdrops of Niagara Falls, portraits of men sitting beside cardboard cutouts of stylish Victorian women, or people photographed while sitting astride taxidermy alligators or bears. What is the relationship between truth and fiction in these curious images? In what ways did early photography both capture and also invent reality? What do these images tell us about American values and about the ideals of self-representation for the men, women and children preserved in these distinctive historic images?
$5 members / $10 non-members
Please RSVP to the Museum at: 860.443.2545 ext. 129 or email us.