In Focus: Envisioning Nineteenth-Century New York


Fall 2013


5th Floor Classroom


David Jaffee

Nineteenth-century New York City was a visual experience, a spectacle for resident and visitor alike. Students in this course will develop an experimental Focus Gallery exhibition using engravings, lithographs, daguerreotypes, stereoviews, and woodcuts among other objects to promote an understanding of how New York City entered visual and material consciousness in the nineteenth century. We will consider New York as a case study of how urban manufacturers as well as residents made sense of the city and its new spatial organization through these forms. Broadway stood at that emerging visual corpus as well as being the site of the commercial activity.  Students will learn about these visual genres along with the various publishing technologies through hands-on work at various local collections so that we can acquaint ourselves with those materials, explore various visual genres, and make a selection of themes and materials for exhibition. We will consider what the theme of the exhibition should be, what materials should go into the exhibition, and how do we communicate our understanding of the visuality of nineteenth-century New York through the exhibition medium.  We will also be working on an accompanying digital component. 3 credits.