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New Methods for Exploring the Material History of Photography


Yale University

August 12, 2024


DARKROOM TO DATA is a symposium hosted by the Lens Media Lab featuring the lab's research into the material history of black and white photography and providing a forum for our principal collaborations, including contributions from colleagues at the Center for Creative Photography, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.  The theme of this work is "seeing at scale" through the creation and interpretation of datasets that surface patterns latent in photograph collections. These patterns inform our thinking of preservation, artistic intention, regional practices, and the influence of materials and methods shared by photographers across time.  The intended audience is art historians, conservators, conservation scientists, collectors, curators, dealers and anyone interested in data science and data visualization applied to the study of cultural material.

Read the Symposium abstract.



Titles link to abstracts, speaker names link to bios

Session 1: Paperbase

Moderator: Cassie Mansfield, Professor of Art History, Pennsylvania State University

Session 2: Discoveries

Moderator: Monica Bravo, Assistant Professor of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University

Session 3: Partner Research

Moderator: Sylvie Pénichon, Director of Paper, Photography and Media Conservation, Art Institute of Chicago

Session 4: Lens Media Lab Legacies and Future

Moderator: Lee Ann Daffner, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Conservator of Photographs, Museum of Modern Art

Moderated Q&A and discussion to follow each session


The Lens Media Lab is funded through a gift from the John Pritzker Family



DARKROOM TO DATA and our work with the Center for Creative Photography is supported by Google's Artists + Machine Intelligence Research Awards.

The Lens Media Lab is part of the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, one of seven research institutes on Yale's West Campus. 

We are grateful.

Venue & Registration
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