Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Corsets and Cameras: Photography, Bicycling, and the New Woman in Turn-of-the-Century America"

A gallery talk by Miranda Hofelt, Ph.D. candidate, the University of Chicago, and lecturer at the Art Institute of Chicago

Thursday, September 2, 1010 at 4:30pm
Foster Auditorium (Paterno Library, first floor)

The talk will be held in conjunction with a new exhibition in the Heinz K. and Bridget A. Henisch Photo-History Collection Exhibition Room, 201A Pattee Library. The exhibition includes photographs, postcards, books, periodicals, advertisements, and other original documents that highlight the advent of the New Woman onto the American scene in the 1890s. Young, active, fashionable, adventurous, and often unescorted, the so-called New Woman took advantage of the mobility, freedom, and independence offered by the cycling and camera crazes that swept the American scene at the end of the 19th century. Special topics in Miranda Hofelt's lecture include the technological debut of the safety bicycle and the hand-held Kodak camera; representations of the New Woman in advertising to sell the equipment and gear developed by manufacturers; parodies of the New Woman that underscored the danger of leaving their "proper" homes by going awheel and Kodaking; and the interrelationship of the New Woman, cycling, and photography as symbols of liberty and modernity. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The items in the exhibition were selected from the holdings of the Henisch Photo-History Collection and Rare Books and Manuscripts by guest curator Miranda Hofelt, who was co-curator of a recent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, "Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage" and co-author of an exhibition catalog of the same title. She has taught courses at the University of Chicago and the University of Pittsburgh.

The Henisch Photo-History Collection Exhibition Room is located off the Paterno Family Humanities Reading Room and is accessible to the public during the hours of operation of the University Libraries. The exhibition will be on display through December 31, 2010.

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