The three-day PhotoHistory/PhotoFuture conference has begun, with 300 curators, collectors, educators, and enthusiasts disregarding the Thursday snow and gathering in Rochester, NY.

R.I.T. designed the conference to focus on the presentation of original scholarship on the broad subject of photography’s history and future. As the conference program reveals, “presentations include applications, education, connoisseurship, conservation and preservation, and accessibility. Conference presentations in panel format offer scholarly research, exploration, analysis, interpretation and assessment about dimensions of photography’s past and future as viewed through multiple disciplinary lenses. We anticipate attendance by a wide range of academic disciplines and by practitioners from an equally broad range of professions: educators, practitioners, administrators and managers from both the for-profit and the not-for-profit sectors.”

The program notes, “Photography is simultaneously understood as “making” and “taking”: from the four-year-old’s worldview images of knees and the vacationer’s tedious snapshots of very, very distant vistas, to the event-defining, stop-action of news shots and the wordless narrative of the propagandist or polemicist. Photography documents, it inspires, acts as a memory and prompts memories. Photography stops motion and captures the action, instructs and demonstrates, entertains, reveals and conceals what is otherwise (un)noticed or (un)seen, directs attention and evokes a broad range of emotions. And there has never been more of it than there is today.”


PhotoHistory/PhotoFuture is sponsored and organized by RIT Press, the Institute’s scholarly book publishing enterprise, and The Wallace Center at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Following the presentation of scholarship, the conference concludes with a photography-focused Antiquarian Show and Sale on Sunday.