A New History of the First Photograph

Jessica S. McDonald, the Nancy Inman and Marlene Nathan Meyerson Curator of Photography at the Harry Ransom Center, rethinks the historical moment, as well as the personal circumstance, shaping Helmut and Alison Gernsheim’s announcement of their “re-discovery of the world’s first photograph” in 1952. She presents a critical examination of the Gernsheims’ subsequent rewriting of the history of photography and their championing of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce as the sole inventor of photography, and considers the legacy of those efforts on the Ransom Center’s interpretation of the Gernsheim collection today.

This event is free.