Lecture and Book Signing: Souvenir, Art, or Anthropology?


Sep 24, 2015, 6:00 pm


Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

David Odo, Author, The Journey of “A Good Type”: From Artistry to Ethnography in Early Japanese Photographs
Director of Student Programs and Research Curator of University Collections Initiatives, Harvard Art Museums

When is a photograph a souvenir? A work of art? Anthropological data? How can tourist photographs, produced to appeal to foreign visitors of “exotic” lands, become scientific data? Based on his studies of the Peabody Museum’s collection of early photographs of Japan, David Odo, author of The Journey of “A Good Type”: From Artistry to Ethnography in Early Japanese Photographs (Peabody Museum Press, 2015), will discuss this complicated terrain. The collection—comprised of highly aesthetic photos colored by hand in the nineteenth century—is a fascinating example of how “art” and “science” can intersect in a museum. 

Free and open to the public. Complimentary event parking available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage. 

Presented in collaboration with the Harvard University Asia Center and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University

The related exhibition, From Artistry to Ethnography in Early Japanese Photographs is on view Monday-Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm through Sunday, September 27, 2015 at CGIS South, Japan Friends of Harvard Concourse, 1730 Cambridge Street in Cambridge.

Download a letter-size event poster.