Day Two: Experiencing Mass Images. Jennifer Roberts, April 17, 2015
Day Two: Experiencing Mass Images
Friday, April 17, at Noon
Center for Early Modern History
1210 Heller Hall
Day two of the conference on Experiencing Mass Images. This talk may be viewed upon U of M login.
Currency as Metaprinting: the Case of Benjamin Franklin
Jennifer Roberts, Art History, Harvard
Scholars and numismatists of colonial America have carefully studied the symbolic compositions on the front of the paper bills designed by Benjamin Franklin. But there has been surprisingly little attention paid to the backs. There, Franklin printed elegant natural images cast directly from the spring leaves of Philadelphia trees and shrubs. These delicately veined images, each one a miniature landscape of fluidity and circulation, embody the convergence of economic imagination and the logic of print in Franklin’s America.
Jennifer L. Roberts is Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities, Harvard College Professor, and Chair of the Program in American Studies. She teaches American art from the colonial period to the present, with particular focus on issues of landscape, material culture, print culture, and the history of science. She received her A.B. from Stanford and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale. Her book Mirror-Travels: Robert Smithson and History was published in 2004 by Yale University Press. It examines the ways in which Smithson’s celebrated earthworks and traveling projects of the 1960s and 70s confront the social and material histories of the sites they occupy. She has also published numerous essays and reviews on 18th, 19th and 20th century American art and material culture, and is a co-author of the Prentice Hall textbook American Encounters: Art, History, and Cultural Identity (2007). She recently curated a curricular exhibition on Jasper Johns and the materiality of print, published as Jasper Johns/In Press: The Crosshatch Works and the Logic of Print (Harvard Art Museums, 2012).
Her new book, Transporting Visions: the Movement of Images in Early America, will be published by the University of California Press in January of 2014. The project traces the dispatch of images through the Anglo-American landscape between 1760 and 1860. Treating pictures that register, in various ways, the material complications of their own transmission, the book explores the relationship between communication/transportation media and period understandings of visual representation.
Credit: Baker Library, Harvard University.
Day one of the conference featured presentations by Jennifer Greenhill, UIUC, and Michael Leja, U Penn.
This talk is cosponsored by the Department of Art History and the Center for Early Modern History.