Fame and Photography: The Construction of Artistic Celebrity in the Late Nineteenth Century
5900 Bishop Boulevard , University Park, TX
What does it take to become famous, and how have modern technologies contributed to the very definition of celebrity? This talk will return to the 1850s, when mass-produced photographic prints from glass negatives were introduced and when the faces of the rich, talented and powerful began to flood international markets. More particularly, how and why did visual artists elevate themselves to the pantheon of genius and exploit photography to promote their careers? Through the lens of an album compiled by American sugar baron William H. Stewart, recently acquired by the Meadows Museum, Professor McCauley will discuss how art dealers, photographers and journalists worked in concert to transform artists into trendsetters and their works into status symbols for nouveau riche collectors.
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