The History of Photography in 10 Pictures

The camera is an instrument that is so ubiquitous that everyone is carrying one around in their pocket.  Photography is a technological marvel we all appreciate and value.  Bring pictures of your grandchildren, vacation, and your cat for this daytime lecture at the Boulder JCC on Wednesday, October 11.  

Peter Hay Halpert will give participants a look at the history of photography through ten pictures (and a few asides and detours). Starting with the first photo in 1839 through to cutting edge contemporary work. Through this tour, Peter will examine some of the key issues that photography has dealt with including the impact of Artificial Intelligence.  

In preparation for his talk next week we reached out to Peter and asked him a few questions.  

Peter Hay Halpert

How did you get interested in this topic?
My doctoral studies were in 17th century French history/art history/architectural history.  I was able to do some work at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum with their 17th century Dutch painting collection, like Johannes Vermeer and Rembrandt.   I fell in love with the work, but the masterpieces I spent so much time with weren’t available to collect – they were in museums.

In the late 1980’s, I started collecting photography – a medium that I had been looking at all my life. The collecting led to curating and writing, and eventually to a career as a private art dealer specializing in photography. It’s been over 30+ years now, and I’m still finding and engaging with new work. 

What is a misconception people have about photography?
Photography is a language everyone thinks they speak.  Photography is the medium of our times. There are great artists working with photography. Artists have been doing great things for almost 200 years. We may think photography has just started to get innovative, but it’s actually been innovating since day one.

What is your favorite thing to photograph?
I’m not a photographer (although of course I have over 10,000 photos on my iPhone). But as a collector, professor, author…I’m always drawn to pictures of people. I could spend a lifetime sitting at a café in Paris, watching people go by. Photography lets me capture those moments and keep looking.

Peter’s lecture will be on Wednesday, October 11 at 12:30 pm.  There will be snacks and socializing following the program until 2 pm. 

Advance registration is always recommended for programs at the Boulder JCC.  Using a computer rather than your mobile device will make the registration process easier for you. For registration support call 303-998-1900 or contact Acy Jackson acy.jackson@boulderjcc.org

About Emily LeCleir

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