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Beyond Beauty: Conversations about Photography

October 2, 2009, 1-6 PM, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
Some of the most renowned photographers, curators, and documentary writers working today will gather for a free half-day conference on Friday, October 2, at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Throughout the afternoon, these internationally known artists and photography experts will share their experiences as they explore the idea of beauty and its relationship to, and representation in, the photographic image. Sponsors of the event include the Archive of Documentary Arts at the Special Collections Library, the Center for Documentary Studies and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

In three informal conversations participants will deconstruct the roles of photography in modern society: as an agent of social change and transformation, as documentation of a historical moment, and, ultimately, as a “beautiful” object. Speakers include photographers Dawoud Bey, Bill Burke, Eric Gottesman, Laurel Nakadate, Susan Meiselas, Tom Rankin, and Deborah Willis, as well as Philip Brookman of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Alison Nordström of the George Eastman House.

Paul Hendrickson, Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will conclude the conference with a talk about the archive’s role in preserving and providing access to a society’s photographic heritage. Hendrickson will give particular attention to the Farm Security Administration’s little-seen color photographs of the Depression era, the subject of his book, Bound for Glory: America in Color 1939-43.

This event is free and open to the public. Parking and seating are limited, so please plan to arrive early.

The conference complements the exhibition Beyond Beauty: Photographs from the Duke University Special Collections Library, on view at the Nasher Museum through 18 October, and the publication Beyond Beauty: The Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

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Posted 28 September 2009

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Last modified September 28, 2009 8:54:53 PM EDT