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Feb. 15: Colloquium hosts lecture by museum curator, photography historian

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

FREDERICK, Md.—The changing art of photographic portraiture will be the focus of a lecture by a noted museum curator and photography historian March 1 at 7 p.m. in the Whitaker Campus Center at Hood College.

The lecture, entitled "Changing Faces in Portraiture: From Daguerreotype to Digital," is part of the College’s annual colloquium series, funded in part by a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant. This year's series is themed "The Humanities at Work: How Media Shape Society."

Shannon Perich, associate curator, photographic history collection at the National Museum of American History, will discuss how the development of new technologies has affected the art of photographic portraiture since it first came into vogue in the mid-1800s and how the development of new technologies influenced the representation of subjects and the use of portraits. She will also present the work of nine photographers, including Julia Margaret Cameron, Dorothea Lange and Richard Avedon, and explore what their approach to portraiture reveals about their relationship to the technology and culture of their time.

Perich has curated numerous exhibitions at the museum, including the current exhibit, The Kennedys: 50 Years Ago. She is a regular contributor to National Public Radio’s "The Picture Show," as well as the author of the forthcoming "The Changing Face of Portrait Photography," the 2007 release of "The Kennedys: Portrait of a Family" and numerous articles.

Future colloquium events include a discussion March 22 between internationally celebrated abstract expressionist Sam Gilliam and filmmaker Rohini Talalla; and a lecture April 12 on WikiLeaks and national security by former on-air CNN and ABC News correspondent investigative reporter Mark Feldstein.

The Hood College Center for the Humanities was founded in 1990 by a group of Hood faculty members in the humanities. During its more than 20-year existence, the Center for the Humanities has presented a distinguished roster of events, including lectures, symposia, film series, concerts and poetry readings. In 1999, Hood was the recipient of a major challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that helps fund an annual lecture series and an NEH visiting scholar. In recent years, speakers have included capital punishment opponent Sister Helen Prejean, and the contemporary political philosophers Cornel West and Peter Singer.

For more information about the colloquium and the scheduled events, contact Rebecca Prime, Libman Professor of Humanities, by e-mail at or visit