Book Discussion | “The Idea of Italy: Photography and the British Imagination, 1840–1900”

September 30, 2022

A conversation with editors Maria Antonella Pelizzari, Professor of Art History at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York; and Scott Wilcox, former Deputy Director for Collections at the Yale Center for British Art; joined by Stephen C. Pinson, curator, Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Maria Morris Hambourg, writer, independent curator, and founding curator of the Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

This book examines the ways in which the new medium of photography influenced the British experience, appreciation, and perception of Italy in the nineteenth century. Setting photography within a long history of image making — beginning with the eighteenth-century Grand Tour and transformed by the inventions of William Henry Fox Talbot and Louis Daguerre — this beautifully illustrated book features many previously unpublished images alongside the work of well-known photographers. The sixteen essays in this volume explore photography as a vehicle for visual translation and cultural exchange.

This program is presented through the generosity of the Terry F. Green 1969 Fund for British Art and Culture.