Robin E. Kelsey
January - June 2004
Robin E. Kelsey, assistant professor of history of art and architecture at Harvard University, will complete his book on the survey photographs of Timothy O’Sullivan: The Art of the Archive: Timothy O’Sullivan’s Photographs of the West, 1867–1874, and develop his next, Accidental Inclusion: Three Moments of Writing on Photography. The first responds to nineteenth-century arguments instigating the art historical canon on photography and its artistic role(s), many of which revolve around O'Sullivan's photographs. His second book will consider three important moments of historical writing on photography: Henry Fox Talbot's The Pencil of Nature, Walter Benjamin's A Short History of Photography and Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida. By examining photography's tendency to reveal the unnoticed or unintentional, Kelsey will reconsider photography's contribution to our understanding of pictorial meaning.