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  • 2021 Symposium: October 15-17 On Line!

2021 Symposium: October 15-17 On Line!

  • October 15, 2021
  • October 17, 2021

2021 Symposium: October 15-17 On Line!

The 33rd Annual Daguerreian Society Symposium will be virtual this year, and will be held October 15-17.

We look forward to another great virtual Symposium this year. Please join us — we look forward to seeing you.

For a preview of the 2021 Symposium, here is the video of a talk presented 9 October highlighting all of the Symposium's presentations and activities. Or for a quicker look, see the slides presented in the talk.


If you're not already a member of The Daguerreian Society, it's a great idea to JOIN before registering for the Symposium. You'll immediately save $75 on your Symposium registration, which already covers most of the cost of membership. And you'll get all the other benefits of membership -- the Daguerreian Society Quarterly, the Daguerreian Annual, access to member-exclusive talks, and more. 



Here’s a summary of the schedule and events summary of the schedule (all times Eastern Daylight Time):

Friday, October 15

12:00 pm: Opening of the Photography Fair (special preview for Symposium registrants and members of The Daguerreian Society only)

Hosted on dealer Marvin Getman’s virtual fair platform, the show will include around 2,000 19th- and early 20th-century photographs, books, and ephemera, including images from the highest levels of the art to vernacular snapshots. Collectible books, historical images, and a broad range of exceptional historic photographic material will be offered.

1:00—4:00 pm: Three Virtual Tours

  • Exhibition on Early Photography from the Collection of Hans Gummersbach at the Museum Georg Schaefer, Schweinfurt, Germany

    Private collector Hans Gummersbach will lead this tour of his private collection, which is currently on display through January 9, 2022 at the Museum Georg Schaefer in Schweinfurt, Germany. Titled “New Truth? Little Miracles,” the exhibition features around 300 objects: daguerreotypes, stereo-daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, calotypes, albumen prints, historical documents, and contemporary caricatures on early photography.

  • The Photography Collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

    Ella Ravilious, Curator of Design and Architecture at the V&A, will give an overview of some of the early photographs in the V&A and Royal Photographic Society collections, and the key photographers, curators, and exhibitions that brought them to light. Roger Fenton and others formed the Photographic Society (later the RPS) in 1853. That same year, the institution that would become the V&A began collecting and commissioning photographs. In 2017, the RPS collection was transferred to the V&A.

  • TIPPs: An Online Database for Exploring the Prints Tipped Into Nineteenth-Century Photography Manuals

    This tour will be led by Katherine Mintie, Senior Researcher in Art History, Lens Media Lab, Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Yale University.

6:00 pm: Introduction and Welcome to the Symposium
Speaker: Mike Medhurst, President, The Daguerreian Society

6:10—6:30 pm: Preview of the Upcoming 2021 Daguerreian Annual
Speakers: Stephen Perloff, Editor, The Photo Review; Sarah Weatherwax, Senior Curator of Graphic Arts, The Library Company of Philadelphia; and Jeremy Rowe, Senior Research Scientist, NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences

6:30—8:00 pm: Talking about the Virtual Booths at the Photography Fair
Speakers: Michael Lehr, vintage photography collector and dealer, and others

8:00—9:30 pm: Contemporary Daguerreotypists' Round Table
Speakers: Contemporary daguerreotypists Ken Nelson, Jerry Spagnoli, Takashi Arai,  Hengli Ge, and Dr. Mike Robinson (moderator)

In this panel, leading modern-day practitioners will discuss their work, hopes, and the collecting market for contemporary daguerreotypes. Ken Nelson made his first daguerreotype 45 years ago and represents the old guard of contemporary daguerreotypists driving the resurgence of the medium. Jerry Spagnoli and Takashi Arai are daguerreian artists who have achieved international recognition for their work. Hengli Ge from China is a relative newcomer to the daguerreotype and approaches his work from an interesting perspective, in a country where few resources or information on the process exists. Dr. Mike Robinson is an artist-practitioner, teacher, conservator, and historian of the daguerreotype. 

Saturday, October 16

12:00 pm: Opening of the Photography Fair to the public

1:00—2:30 pm: The Market for Daguerreotypes and Cased Images, Or How We Got to Where We Are
Speakers: Will Stapp, former Curator of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery; Denise Bethel, former Head of Photographs, Sotheby’s New York; Chris Mahoney, Senior International Specialist, Photographs, Phillips; Daile Kaplan, former Head of Photographs, Swann Auction Galleries; Wes Cowan, Founder, Cowan’s Auctions and Vice Chair, Hindman Auctions (moderator)

Join this all-star panel of leading auction house experts in a free-wheeling review of the discovery of daguerreotypes by museums and auction houses and their rise in the marketplace since the 1970s. Q&A will follow. 

3:00—4:30 pm: The Golden Days of George Eastman House
Speakers: Grant Romer, Founding Director, Academy of Archaic Imaging; Keith Davis, former Chief Curator of Photography, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; John Rohrbach, Senior Curator of Photographs, The Amon Carter Museum of American Art; and Michelle Delaney, Assistant Director for History and Culture, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (moderator)

In the 1970s, the field of photographic history and conservation expanded exponentially, and George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y. was at the center of it. What was it like to be on staff at GEH back then? Former GEH staffers Grant Romer, Keith Davis, and John Rohrbach will share their experiences, including their education and training, GEH projects, and research and exhibitions accomplished while working together at the groundbreaking museum. GEH’s impact on the study of the history of photography, photographic conservation, and collecting has been huge. This session will also consider what role GEH may play in the future of the field.

4:30 pm: A Brief Overview of Lots from the Benefit Auction

6:00 pm: The 33rd Annual Daguerreian Society Benefit Auction

This year’s live auction, which is open to the public, will offer an amazing array of photographic material from cased images and vintage paper prints to books, antique cameras, and ephemera. Consignments are said to be even better than last year. Interested buyers will be able to bid using one of two on-line platforms: Cowan’s and LiveAuctioneers.

THE AUCTION ON LIVEAUCTIONEERS.COM (buyer's premium 25% — including 5% to cover fees)

THE AUCTION ON COWAN'S AUCTIONS (buyer's premium 20% — Cowan's Auctions is generously waiving their fees)

Sunday, October 17

11:00 am: The Daguerreian Society's Annual Business Meeting

Your Board will present updates and solicit questions, recommendations and feedback from our members.

12:00 pm: The Photography Fair continues with new items added

1:00-2:30 pm: Jump into History! Researching Images and Sitters with Internet Resources
Speakers: Shayne Davidson, author, illustrator and genealogist; Rachel Wetzel, Conservator, Library of Congress; and Bill Becker, Director, American Museum of Photography (moderator)

Artist and genealogy expert Shayne Davidson will show how to trace images and sitters using internet resources – including free sites that provide access to billions of historical records and documents. Conservator Rachel Wetzel of the Library of Congress will reveal her methods of identifying sitters using various internet sources and historic literature, as part of the Robert Cornelius Project. She will also cover how to make connections for discovering other unidentified works by makers of the same time and location and where available, assembling and analyzing multiple images.

3:00 pm–4:30 pm: Aggregating, Mapping, and Mining – What You Can Learn from Your Data
Speakers: Adrienne Lundgren, Senior Photographic Conservator, Library of Congress; Nick Wright, founder of the History Alliance on Facebook; and Jeremy Rowe, Senior Research Scientist, NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences (moderator)

The panel will build on the previous session on researching individual images and present three case studies that incorporate multiple images and related data about location into a meta analysis to uncover additional  information about the the photographers who produced the images, evolution of the photographic businesses, and development of the rural and urban environments in which 19th and early 20th century photographers operated.

5:00 pm: Summation of the Symposium, 2022 Symposium Announcement, and Social Session
Speaker: Michelle Delaney

8:00 pm: The Photography Fair closes

Sponsorship Opportunities

We are now delighted to offer sponsorship opportunities with our prestigious 2021 Virtual Symposium. Secure your package today and gain valuable goodwill and visibility for your brand with a diverse range of industry specific, receptive target audiences.

As a 501C-3 non-profit, our activities play a vital role in preserving, building awareness and helping to energize new generations. Keeping alive enthusiasm for 19th century in this day of throw-away digital imaging is crucial to the ongoing health of image oriented businesses and institutions. Through the Society’s sponsorship packages, you are delivering a double boost to your organization through both immediate visibility positioning/advertising and by helping to increase (through the Society’s educational work) the number of early photo enthusiasts for the future.

More information on sponsoring the Symposium is available here.

Photography Fair


This year's on-line Photography Fair is sponsored by The Daguerreian Society in conjunction with our 33rd annual Symposium.

The Fair is a virtual trade fair featuring 19th and 20th century photographs, books, and ephemera including images from the highest levels of the art to vernacular snapshots, collectible books, historical images, and a broad range of historical photographic material. It is a show for collectors, curators, galleries, and dealers.

The Photography Fair which will be a joint venture with Marvin Getman and Impact Events Group.

The fair will be hosted on Getman’s virtual show platform which was developed at the beginning of the pandemic to host his popular antiquarian book fairs. The platform quickly took hold as a gold standard as it emulated the experience of walking booth by booth at an in-person fair, and allows dealers from all over the world to meet buyers they
might never see at a live fair.

Members of the Daguerreian Society will have early preview access on October 15, and dealers will be able to add new material as items are sold.


Photography Fair Exhibitor Information

If you stock photography related items, you are welcome to apply for exhibit space at this first of its kind  virtual photo fair.

Virtual Booth Rent - $250 for up to 51 items - flat fee. This fee covers listing for 36 regular items plus 15 extra items. Extra items are displayed as items are sold, and all remaining extra items are displayed on the last day of the fair.

Although registration for a booth covers up to 51 items, there is no minimum number of items required.



The Dagguerreian Society

The Daguerreian Society
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Cecil, PA 15321-0306
Phone: 412-221-0306
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