USC-LACMA History of Photography Seminar

The USC-LACMA History of Photography Seminar is a joint initiative between USC’s Visual Studies Research Institute and LACMA’s Wallis Annenberg Photography Department. The initiative is designed to facilitate dialogue between one of LA’s leading research institutions and the largest encyclopedic art museum on the West Coast. Each event will feature a distinguished guest working at the cutting edge of the history, practice and display of photography. Bringing curators into direct dialogue with university professors, photographers, filmmakers, and independent researchers, the events will focus on current publications and exhibitions from around the world that engage with photography as an object of inquiry. As a medium that exists at the intersection of art, science and commerce, photography necessarily requires interdisciplinary examination. This initiative will reflect this vibrant diversity in its format and approach.

While the museum and the academy exist in close relationship in theory, in practice the opportunities for interaction are few and far between. This initiative works to foster exchange and cross-pollination among curators and faculty, as well as reaching out to graduate students with an interest in curatorial practice. Attentive to the context and imperatives of the museum, the seminars will engage with questions that resonate both within and beyond the academy. By encouraging curators, faculty and students to explore multiple models of intellectual inquiry, the initiative will open new avenues for collaboration and innovation in research, publication, and exhibition. In this way, the aim is to expand the mission and intellectual potential of the university and the museum alike.

This initiative will take advantage of the many resources in the Los Angeles area, as well as reaching further afield in an effort to increase the visibility and influence of the city as a growing center for the production, study and display of photography.

This series is organized by Vanessa Schwartz, Professor of Art History and History, USC, in coordination with Britt Salveson, Department Head and Curator, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department and the Department of Prints and Drawings, LACMA.

For more information about our Fall 2023 programming please visit News & Events: USC-LACMA History of Photography