Joan M Schwartz – Lives and afterlives: The photographic lens and legacy of Frederick Dally

Event Date: 23 May 2018

Moore Lecture Theatre
Royal Holloway University of London
Egham, Surrey
TW20 0EX

The Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities presents:

The 3rd Denis Cosgrove Lecture in the GeoHumanities

Professor Joan M Schwartz (Head of Department of Art History and Art Conservation at Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada) – Lives and afterlives: The photographic lens and legacy of Frederick Dally

In 1866, the young Englishman Frederick Dally opened a photographic studio in Victoria, at the time, capital of the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island. In the remarkable visual legacy he produced over the next four years, we can discern the origins of an enduring vision of British Columbia – as an outpost of Empire, as a gold rush colony, as a Royal Naval station, as the home of Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest. We can also recognize the power of photography as a tool of documentation, visualization, and imagination.

Many of Dally’s images have become icons of British Columbia history. The lecture follows the lives and afterlives of some of these images as they moved through time and across spaces, both physical and digital. With an emphasis on context and meaning, order and materiality, this foray into oeuvre and archive sheds light on the role Dally’s photographs played in shaping both Victorian understandings of the nineteenth-century present and contemporary understandings of the Victorian past.

Order of speakers: Professor Philip Crang (RHUL), Professor Joan M Schwartz (Kingston, Ontario), Professor Elizabeth Edwards (V&A Museum).

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