‹ Museum News

Symposium on "Memory & the Photographic Image"

April 4th, 2012

Ithaca, NY—The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University will hold a symposium in conjunction with its exhibition Memory and the Photographic Image on Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21.

The keynote address will be presented on Friday, April 20 at 5:15 p.m. in the Museum’s wing lecture room. Geoffrey Batchen is a writer, curator, and educator whose work focuses on the history of photography and its role in modern life. He teaches at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. This talk is free and open to the public.

The symposium on Saturday, April 21 will feature presentations by Jennifer Blessing, senior curator of photography at the Guggenheim Museum in New York; Shimon Attie, a visual artist whose work engages local communities in finding new ways of representing their history, memory, and potential futures; and Carrie Mae Weems, a widely acclaimed photographer and artist who lives and works in Syracuse. (Program and participants are subject to change.)

For more information on advance registration for the Saturday symposium, which is free but required, please contact Elizabeth Saggese at (607) 254-4642 or eas8@cornell.edu.

The Memory and the Photographic Image symposium is supported by Cornell’s Atkinson Forum in American Studies Program.

The exhibition Memory and the Photographic Image is on view from April 14 to September 9, 2012, at the Johnson Museum. For many photographers, memory plays a large role in the choice of subject and how that subject is interpreted—and how these images often become the only record of a moment passed. But photographs and their negatives can be manipulated, raising questions about the intent of the photographer and the experience of the viewer—so is this record truthful? This exhibition looks at the ways artists, including Julia Margaret Cameron, Alexander Gardner, Alfred Stieglitz, Margaret Bourke-White, Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, Andy Goldsworthy, and others, see and translate personal memories onto film.


The Johnson Museum has a permanent collection of more than 35,000 works of art from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America. The museum building was designed by I. M. Pei. Funds for the building were donated by Cornell alumnus Herbert F. Johnson, late president and chairman of S C Johnson. The building opened in 1973.


The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, located on the campus of Cornell University, is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. The Museum is completely accessible for mobility-impaired visitors, and a wheelchair is available in the lobby. Metered parking is available in the lot next to the Museum. For more information, please call 607 255-6464. Visit the Museum’s website at museum.cornell.edu. The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art is a proud member of Ithaca’s Discovery Trail: www.DiscoveryTrail.com.