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Lecture: Sovereignty, Photography, and Queen Victoria

Announced only two years into Queen Victoria’s reign, the invention of photography heralded a new form of representation, one that spoke equally on behalf of the powerful and among the populace. Like many world leaders of the time, Victoria willingly submitted so many elements of her personal and political life to the camera, shaping the way her subjects perceived her at home and abroad in the growing Empire. What does it mean when such power embraced this new visual technology, whose effects quickly spurred novel confrontations in culture between art and enterprise, tradition and modernity, sovereign power and democratic practice?

This lecture explores the art and politics behind the monarch’s embrace of photography in her many portrayals before the lens, as well as in her patronage together with Prince Albert of photographic artists like Roger Fenton and Julia Margaret Cameron.Jacob W. Lewis teaches nineteenth-century art and the history of photography as Visiting Assistant Professor in Art & Art History. He is currently editing an anthology of essays on the topic of photography’s ubiquity for Leuven University Press, as well as writing atext on genre photography in France during the 1850s.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Rush Rhees Library, Rare Books and Special Collections Plutzik Room (2nd Floor)
755 Library Road, Rochester, NY 14626

Event Type

Lectures and Talks, Arts and Entertainment, Exhibitions


General Public, Faculty, Students, Alumni


art & art history




River Campus Libraries
Contact Phone or Email

(585) 275-4477

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