Color Photography in the 19th Century and Early 20th Century: Sciences, Technologies, Empires

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Upcoming Meetings

There are no currently scheduled upcoming events.

Past Meetings

  • November 15, 2022

    Colour Empires of Prokudin-Gorskii
    Presenter: Nadezhda Stanulevich
    During the presentation, we will consider facts about colour photographs by Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii and his activity in Russia and France. We will look at the scientific career of a famous photographer, as well as questions around the identification of Prokudin-Gorskii's photographs, concreting types of photographic materials like negatives and slides, prints, postcards, etc. We will reference different Russian State and private collections. Moving to the colour prints of the French period will allow you to look at the work of the photographer and his family more than through the prism of Russian imperialism.
    Nadezhda Stanulevich is a photo historian. She defended her Candidate of Science dissertation entitled Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii and his contribution to the development of colour photography in 2019. Most of her peer-reviewed articles focus on the history of photographic techniques, cultural aspects of photography at the beginning of the 20th century or museums photo collections. Since September 2019, she has been a Researcher at Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera).
    Target audience: Russian Studies scholars & enthusiasts, French studies scholars & enthusiasts, three-color photography scholars, curators.
    The resource made available for you is Nadezhda Stanulevich's published article "Prokudin-Gorskii’s technique of colour photography: colour separation, additive projection and pigment printing".

  • October 18, 2022

    **Note Special Time**
    Tuesday, October 18, 2022 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm BST
    Presenters: Catlin Langford 
    Talk Title: Autochromes and Representation
    Please refer to the resource section for reading material. 
    In this session, we will consider ideas around autochromes and representation. We will look at means of representing the unique materiality of autochromes, as well as questions around the representation and exploration of the process through the lens of colonialism, imperialism, and ethics, reflecting on accessibility, exposure, interpretation, and learning. We will initially reference the V&A’s collection of over 2,500 autochromes, noting recent activities to explore, catalogue, publish and exhibit this collection, before moving to the collections of the National Geographic and Albert- Kahn Museum, the latter having recently reopened in Paris following extensive renovations.    
    Target audience: Newcomers to the research on color photography circa 1900, PhD students, curators, conservators, established researchers.
    Reading material:
    Doug Peterson, ‘Preserving the National Geographic Society’s Autochrome Collection’, Digital Transitions Heritage, 11 March 2019,
    Kjetil Ansgar Jakobsen and Milena Nikolova, ‘The Kahn Archive: A Visual Memory That Is Truly Comopolitan?’, in Cosmopolitics of the Camera: Albert Kahn’s Archives of the Planet, Intellect, 2020 (pages: 155-77)
    Suggested further reading:
    Brian Hochman, Savage Preservation: The Ethnographic Origins of Modern Media Technology, University of Minnesota Press, 2014.
    Please note that the reading material "Colour Mania" written by Catlin Langford has been posted for the purpose of study and should not be transmitted to third parties without the consent of the author.

  • September 20, 2022

    Researching Color Photography in the 19th & early 20th Century Today: Reflections on History, Science, and Materiality
    Presenters: Janine Freeston + Dr. Hanin Hannouch 
    Please refer to the resource section for reading material. 
    The co-conveners of this working group Janine Freeston and Dr. Hanin Hannouch introduce color photography circa 1900 as a nascent field of inquiry. Moreover, they will present key research questions about it and avenues to consider when delving into the numerous technologies which the term “color photography” encompasses, as well as the historical complexity out of which these processes emerged. They will also address the interrelatedness of color photographies and other media that were necessary to the creation and dissemination of knowledge about them during European imperialism. 
    For example, can we really speak of “the first” color photograph and how is this fraught notion entangled with imperialism? How does the lack of chemical uniformity challenge the international history of certain color processes? How to formalize the relationship between color photography and other scientific disciplines and practices such as anthropology, spectrography, medicine etc.? How to integrate the research of scientists in the “Global South” about color photography, as well as the position of women and other marginalized groups? What role do the technical objects of color photography play in museum collections and in broadening the history of the medium?

    Target audience: Newcomers to the research on color photography circa 1900, PhD students, curators, conservators, established researchers.

Group Conveners

  • Janine's picture

    Janine Freeston

    Free-lance researcher, cataloger and digitizer of photographic archives, author, consultant, co-curator of photographic exhibitions, tutor and associate lecturer. She specializes in early color photography and photographic processes, currently researching the associated technological and litigious aspects of trichromatic technology up to the 1930s. Her completed thesis Colour photography in Britain, 1906-1932: Exhibition, Technology, Commerce and Culture - the Dynamics that Shaped its Emergence, will shortly be available. Janine is currently co-authoring an undergraduate study guide to understanding and applying research methods for photography in cultural studies and coordinates annual research symposiums on behalf of the Royal Photographic Society Historical Group with Andrew Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Photography at Sheffield Hallam University for academics, writers and collectors at any stage of their research.


  • Hanin's picture

    Hanin Hannouch

    Dr. Hanin Hannouch (she/her) is Curator for Analog and Digital Media at the Weltmuseum Wien, where she is responsible for the collections of photography, film, and sound. Since November 2022, she has been a member of the advisory board of the European Society for the History of Photography (ESHPh). She is the editor of the first volume on interferential color photography titled "Gabriel Lippmann's Colour Photography: Science, Media, Museums" (Amsterdam University Press, 2022) and has guest-curated the exhibition "Slow Colour Photography" about it at Preus Museum: National Museum of Photography (Norway). Moreover, she is the guest-editor of the journal PhotoResearcher Nr. 37 "Three-Colour Photography around 1900: Technologies, Expeditions, Empires". Dr. Hannouch was a Post-Doc, among others, at the Ethnologisches Museum - Berlin State Museums (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) and at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz / Max-Planck-Institut where she investigated colonial color photography in the 19th and early 20th century. She earned her PhD from IMT Lucca, Scuola Alti Studi (2017) with a dissertation on the history of film and art in the Soviet Union titled "Art History as Janus: Sergei Eisenstein on the Visual Arts," after completing an international Masters degree in art history and museology (IMKM) at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris and the University of Heidelberg in Germany (2014), as well as another Masters (2012) and a Bachelors focusing on European modern art at the Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik (Lebanon). She speaks Arabic, French, English, German, Italian fluently and continues to learn Russian. Currently, she is writing her monograph on the history of color photography in Imperial Germany, as well as another book on the history of the photography collection at the Weltmuseum Wien.


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