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In-Person Gallery Talk: Ella Hurd’s Botanical Cyanotypes—Camera-less Photography and Scientific Discovery in the 19th Century

A cyanotype of botanical specimens.
Ella J.C. Hurd, American, Asplenium ebeneum (Ebony spleenwort) and Lycopodium clavatum (Common club moss), c. 1890–1900. Cyanotype. Courtesy of the Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University, TL42353.3.

Gallery Talk

Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

This is an in-person event.

The talk will highlight amateur botanist Ella Hurd and the process she used to make her cyanotypes. It will also explore the importance of camera-less photography to scientific research and documentation in the 19th century.

Our galleries are full of stories—this series of talks gives visitors a chance to hear the best ones! The talks highlight new works on view, take a fresh look at old favorites, investigate artists’ materials and techniques, and reveal the latest discoveries by curators, conservators, fellows, visiting artists, technologists, and other contributors.

This talk is offered in conjunction with the exhibition White Shadows: Anneliese Hager and the Camera-less Photograph, on view at the Harvard Art Museums through July 31, 2022.

Support for the exhibition was provided by the Daimler Curatorship of the Busch-Reisinger Museum Fund. Modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.

Led by:
Tess Hamilton, Graduate Student Intern in Photograph Conservation, Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard Library, Harvard University

Lynette Roth, Daimler Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard Art Museums

Gallery talks are limited to 18 people, and it is required that you reserve your place. At 10am the day of the event, reservations will open and may be arranged online through this form. The gallery talk reservation will also serve as your general museum reservation. If required, visitors will pay the museum admission fee upon arrival.

Please meet in the Calderwood Courtyard, in front of the digital screens between the shop and the admissions desk.

Please visit the website to learn about our general policies for museum visits.