York Fine Arts Professor Talks Up Samuel F.B. Morse

Art Historian and Assistant Professor of Art History at York College, Sarah Kate Gillespie gave a presentation on Samuel F.B. Morse at the National Academy of Design in Manhattan on April 29, 2009.

Professor Sarah Kate Gillespie's talk at the National Academy of Design on April 29, 2009 on Samuel F. B. Morse work in the emerging field of photography.

Most audiences know that Morse was a well known American artist and the inventor of the electro-magnetic telegraph, however as an artist he was not constrained by the means, technology, or conventions of his time.   

Her talk focused on Morse's involvement with the daguerreotype, one of the earliest photographic processes, and Morse's attempt to legitimize the new medium within the National Academy of Design, of which he was president.  Morse believed the daguerreotype could provide, as he put it, "a great revolution in art," primarily in its role as a teaching tool for artists.  

For a brief period, Morse excitedly pursued photography as an ideal instrument with which to bridge technology and the fine arts, however the popularization of the medium and the widening gulf between disciplines eventually led to him to abandon all image making and focus solely on technology.


National Academy Museum & School of Fine Arts, New York
York College, Department Of Performing and Fine Arts, Jamaica, New York

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