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Women and Migration

 | 
Deborah Willis
, 
Ellyn Toscano
, 
Kalia Brooks Nelson

Part eight. Emotional cartography: tracing the personal

37. The Acton Photograph Archive: Between Representation and Re-Interpretation

Alessandra Capodacqua

Texte intégral

  • 1 This chapter is based on the presentation I gave at Villa La Pietra in Florence during the worksho (...)

1This chapter revolves around the significant presence of photographs of women in the Acton Photograph Archive, and how these photographs are not only a mere reproduction of the person represented, but also convey intriguing information about the period, the fashion, and life styles in general. Also, they give us some insight into the customs, conventions and traditions that represented the norm in those years.1

2I argue that we should look at these photographs from a different point of view: they are three-dimensional material objects, and as such they are subject to the process of wear and tear, which adds an interesting further level of interpretation. Photographs travel across social, political, cultural and historical contexts and transmit captivating information and subtexts related to these different times.

  • 2 For more information about the archive, see The Acton Photograph Archive, booklet produced by New (...)

3The photographic images preserved in Villa La Pietra date from around 1870 to 1994; there are approximately 16,700 items (positives, negatives, and images on glass) that were organized and indexed between 2002 and 2005 and have become the Acton Photograph Archive. This family archive did not come down to us in an organized way: the images found in Villa La Pietra had been stored by the Acton family in albums, in drawers, in hat boxes, in cupboards, or mixed up with correspondence. Alta Macadam, the archivist who organized the Acton Photograph Archive (see Fig. 37.1), had the hard task of creating a system that could reflect not only a chronological order, but also a sort of ecosystem in which information on the verso of the photographs would add meaning to the family history.2

Fig. 37.1. The Acton Photograph Archive: Research and Conservation at Villa La Pietra 3, cover image. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.

4The archive includes family photographs and photographs of the interior and garden of Villa La Pietra, and it documents the years ranging from the beginning of the twentieth century, when the villa was purchased by Hortense Mitchell Acton and Arthur Acton, up to the time of the death of Sir Harold, Hortense and Arthur’s son, in 1994.

5The archive contains several photographs of women, mostly Acton family friends, and I felt the impulse to reflect on the lives these women lived. As a photographer myself, I have focused in my artwork on the relevance portraiture has in defining gender difference. The thoughts I share in this chapter are driven by my emotional reaction to these images of women from the Acton Photograph Archive. We are all well aware that society and culture create gender roles, and these roles are settled as ideal or appropriate for a person of that specific gender. This is the perspective from which I am presenting my investigation on and reaction to the Acton Photograph Archive.

6Another preliminary note: to the best of my knowledge, all the photographs included in the presentation were made by men. Portrait studios were generally run by men and the history of photography has seen very few women rise to fame between the mid-nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. Women would learn the how-to of photography because they were married to male pioneers or had close relationships with the families of these pioneers. The earliest women photographers opened their studios in Northern Europe, Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, and Sweden from the 1840s. The first studios run by women in New York City opened in the 1890s.

7We must acknowledge the fact that the Acton Photograph Archive is aligned with the standards of portrait photography in those years, and women were represented as symbols of beauty and purity. However, we will see that quite often the gaze of these women conveys different messages, because their expression could not be controlled by the photographer the way it would be controlled by a painter, for instance.

8A photo archive is generally created out of a photo collection and refers to any archive of photographs, from film and print preservation of vintage photography to stock photography. However, archives should not be considered only as places of conservation; in fact they represent an ecosystem that is never totally neutral and that is always changing. Moreover, photographs are three-dimensional objects: they have a peculiar physicality; they present traces of handling and use; they had a previous life; and they circulated in social, political and private environments, like family collections. As I stated before, the Acton Photograph Archive is a family archive and did not come to us in an organized way: the images have been organized in order to reflect and add meaning to the family history.

  • 3 Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Farrar (...)

9Roland Barthes said that there is a story behind every photograph, and sometimes more than one.3 Considering this insight, I decided to look at the images to interpret the subtext they seem to (or may) convey.

10The photograph of Cora Antinori (see Fig. 37.2) was found with a letter with no date to Harold Acton from Cora’s brother. It was addressed from Palazzo Antinori. What triggered my interest in this photograph was this letter without a date. There is more than one story behind every photograph. The idea that comes from looking at such a beautiful, mysterious image generates new ideas.

Fig. 37.2. Cora Antinori, undated. Photograph found with an undated letter to Harold Acton addressed from Palazzo Antinori from her brother. Archival Series Number I.A.4.2.-18. recto. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.

  • 4 Pierre Choumoff was a French-Russian portrait photographer from Belarus who worked in a photograph (...)

11Photographs often come as matted or mounted prints, so they are not only reproductions of the persons or events represented in them, they acquire the status of three-dimensional material objects. As such they are subject to the processes of normal deterioration or damage; they are used, handled, mounted, stamped and classified. One image that is not reproduced here is mounted on a green mat with the signature of Pierre Choumoff.4 It shows an unidentified elegant woman with a strong profile and a gaze that reaches out beyond the limits of the image: a powerful representation of a woman who is not intimidated, but looks somewhere out of the frame, to some unknown event or person.

12The Acton Photograph Archive mostly includes portraits taken by professionals or well-off amateurs recording high-status social activities of the wealthier classes. The recording of personal milestones, family celebrations, work or leisure activities, social conditions, or using photographs as calling cards became commonplace in the nineteenth century and after.

  • 5 Lewis Einstein was a career diplomat stationed in Constantinople during World War I and would serv (...)
  • 6 Paul Poiret (1879–1944) was a leading French fashion designer, a famous and influential couturier (...)

13In the following photographs (see Figs. 37.3 and 37.4), Rosa Lanza di Scalea is dressed up in Persian costume for the fancy-dress ball in Persian and Venetian costumes given at Villa Schifanoia in 1914 by Lewis Einstein, an American diplomat and historian.5 She was wearing a dress designed by Paul Poiret6 of Paris.

Fig. 37.3. (left) Rosa Lanza di Scalea, dressed in Persian costume for the fancy-dress ball in Persian and Venetian costumes [designed by Paul Poiret of Paris] given by [the US Ambassador/consul] Lewis Einstein at Villa Schifanoia 1914. Signed and dated on the recto. Photographs by Mario Nunes Vais. Archival Series Number I.A.4.2.-folder23a.-100a. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.

Fig. 37.4. (right) Rosa Lanza di Scalea, dressed in Persian costume for the fancydress ball in Persian and Venetian costumes [designed by Paul Poiret of Paris] given by [the US Ambassador/consul] Lewis Einstein at Villa Schifanoia 1914. Signed and dated on the recto. Photographs by Mario Nunes Vais. Archival Series Number I.A.4.2.-folder23a.-100c. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.

  • 7 Mario Nunes Vais, was a well-educated and elegant man who lived in Florence at the turn of the cen (...)
  • 8 Brian Roberts, ‘Photographic Portraits: Narrative and Memory’, FQS Forum: Qualitative Sozialforsch (...)

14These photographs were made by Mario Nunes Vais.7 In my opinion, even though the pose can vary according to context and other factors, we can say in essence, following Brian Roberts in his essay ‘Photographic Portraits: Narrative and Memory’, that we ‘show ourselves in a “pose”, but we also hide behind a pose’.8

  • 9 First introduced in the 1860s, cabinet card photographs were similar to cartes-de-visites, only la (...)

15The dedication annotated on the verso of a cabinet card photograph9 by Steffens, Chicago of Louise Crawford (see Fig. 37.5), ‘Yours while Louise Crawford, July 2nd 1891’, drew my attention after I saw another image of Crawford (see Fig. 37.6) in her wedding dress before marrying Mr Bates in Chicago. If you compare the two images and you take a superficial look at the beautiful dresses, her poses and the positions of her body, you see wealth. However, the two images carry a strong difference. In Figure 6 I see sadness, being lost in her thoughts, or maybe just a sense of an unknown and unpredictable future.

Fig. 37.5. Louise Crawford, 1891, cabinet card. Photo by Steffens, Chicago. Annotated on the verso ‘Yours while Louise Crawford, July 2nd ‘91’. Archival Series Number I.B.3.5.-2.-recto. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.

Fig. 37.6. Louise Bates, née Crawford, in her wedding dress ca. 1890s. Archival Series Number I.B.3.5.51.-6. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.

16A cabinet card, not reproduced in this chapter, taken at Main, a photographic studio on Lenox Ave, New York, portrays Agnes Meyer with an annotation on the back by Arthur Acton. This triggered questions about who the photographer was and what s/he wanted to represent, what kind of relationship s/he had with his or her subject. Taking into consideration annotations and the deterioration of the image, which indicated use and handling, I felt like an archaeologist in front of an unexpected, yet hard-to-decipher story. We look at a representation of someone and then we have to re-interpret it.

17Another example of a photograph that raises questions of interpretation is a cabinet card taken by Steffens in Chicago that portrays a young Hortense Mitchell Acton. The card is not reproduced here, however it is even more intriguing to me because on the back it bears the mark of a photo transfer, caused by chemical action and compression. It was probably kept squeezed in a box full of photographs. To me this card raises questions about why the two cards were stacked together: what was the relationship between Hortense and the unidentified girl whose image is faintly imprinted in the back of the cabinet card?

18In the last series of images, I would like to conclude by making an excursus through Hortense Mitchell Acton’s life, from being pictured as a child in Chicago in a cabinet card photo by Gehrig, Chicago (see Fig. 37.7), to an elegant woman photographed in Florence in front of Villa La Pietra, the place she so strongly desired and acquired in 1907, after having rented it for several years (see Figs. 37.8 and 37.9).

Fig. 37.7. (left) Hortense Mitchell Acton as a child, ca. 1870. Cabinet card photo by Gehrig, Chicago. Archival Series Number I.B.1.3.-64. recto. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.

Fig. 37.8. (right) Hortense Mitchell Acton outside Villa La Pietra ca. 1903. Archival Series Number I.B.1.3.-103. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.

Fig. 37.9. Hortense Mitchell Acton outside Villa La Pietra with the dog Caesar 1903. Archival Series Number I.B.1.3.-105. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.

19Hortense poses outside Villa La Pietra (see Fig. 37.8): the composition of the photograph is quite notable, with carefully framed shadow that creates a well-thought-out balance. Hortense is with the dog Caesar (see Fig. 37.9), and we also notice the presence of the photographer here, through the before-mentioned projected shadow.

20There are three more photographs taking us through Hortense’s life that caught my attention, and that are not reproduced in this chapter.

21The first image shows Hortense in Red Cross Uniform in 1915. This is one of the photographs for which the negative has been found. There are contrasting elements in this photograph, as Hortense is wearing the Red Cross uniform while knitting and sitting in her beautiful garden at Villa La Pietra. These elements are in tension: the idea of being committed to the Red Cross is at odds with the luxury of the environment.

22The second photograph shows Hortense in a studio portrait by Photographie Paris, 3 Place de la Madeleine. She is wearing a dress that is still preserved in Villa La Pietra and she stands in front of a mirror with a coronet of pearls adorning her head. She looks at the photographer, while holding a bouquet of flowers; this is a very classical pose in the photography of the time. The third photograph was made during the same photo session, but in this image the story goes in a different direction: the reflection in the mirror has been painted over, probably with dark ink, and only the reflection of Hortense’s coronet of pearls can be seen. There is more research to be done on this image and the possible reasons why such significant alterations have been made to it.

23During the same fancy-dress ball in Persian and Venetian costume given by Lewis Einstein at Villa Schifanoia in 1914 at which we admired Rosa Lanza di Scalea wearing the beautiful dress designed by Poiret, photographer Mario Nunes Vais also took photographs of Hortense Mitchell Acton, also wearing a dress designed by Poiret (see Fig. 37.10), and Arthur Acton, her husband.

  • 10 Baron Adolf de Meyer worked for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He had set a standard for elegance and (...)

24The last photograph to illustrate this excursion into the Acton Photograph Archive is a studio portrait of Hortense Mitchell Acton (see Fig. 37.11) signed by Baron de Meyer,10 date unidentified, between the 1920s and the 1930s.

Fig. 37.10. Hortense Mitchell Acton dressed up in Persian costume for the fancy-dress ball in Persian and Venetian costume [designed by Paul Poiret of Paris] given by [the US ambassador/consul] Lewis Einstein at Villa Schifanoia 1914. Photograph signed by Nunes Vais. Archival Series Number I.B.1.4.36.-18a. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.

Fig. 37.11. Hortense Mitchell Acton, ca. 1920. Signed studio portraits by De Meyer. One of these was the original, which was removed from its frame in the Biblioteca in Villa La Pietra in June 2004 and replaced with a digital print. Archival Series Number I.B.1.4.42.-90. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.

  • 11 Adam Geczy and Vicki Karaminas, Fashion’s Double: Representations of Fashion in Painting, Photogra (...)

25In this portrait of Hortense, now a sophisticated lady, probably in her mid-fifties, she is steeped in light because the main source of illumination is behind her. This is one of the main characteristics of de Meyer’s photographs, and was very rarely used by photographers in those years. Hortense’s silhouette is strong and suggestive, her pose in contrast with her gaze, which makes her seem lost in thought as she focuses beyond the photographer’s presence. She seems to convey a sense of herself that is ‘well outside the constraint of earthly beings.’11

Bibliographie

Bibliography

Baldwin, Gordon and Jürgens, Martin, Looking at Photographs: A Guide to Technical Terms (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Publications, 2009).

Barthes, Roland, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1981).

CW Collectors Weekly, Cabinet Card Photographs, Overview, https://www.collectorsweekly.com/photographs/cabinet-cards

Geczy, Adam and Vicki Karaminas, Fashion’s Double: Representations of Fashion in Painting, Photography and Film (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015).

Greenough, Sarah, et al., On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography (Boston: Bullfinch Press, 1989).

Marien, Mary Warner, Photography: A Cultural History (London: Laurence King Publishing, 2014).

Roberts, Brian, ‘Photographic Portraits: Narrative and Memory’, FQS Forum: Qualitative Social Research 12:2 (2011), n. p., http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1680/3203

Rosenblum, Naomi, A History of Women Photographers (New York: Abbeville Press, 2010).

Sontag, Susan, On Photography (London: Penguin Modern Classics, 2008).

Szarkowski, John, Photography Until Now (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1989).

The Acton Photograph Archive (New York University, 2010).

Yaeger, Lynn, ‘Saluting Baron Adolph de Meyer, Vogue’s First Staff Photographer’, Vogue Online, 1 September 2015, https://www.vogue.com/article/adolph-de-meyer-birthday-vogue-photographer

Notes

1 This chapter is based on the presentation I gave at Villa La Pietra in Florence during the workshop on Women & Migrations, June 2017.

2 For more information about the archive, see The Acton Photograph Archive, booklet produced by New York University, 2010.

3 Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1981), pp. 99–100. ‘The Photograph justifies this desire, even if it does not satisfy it: I can have the fond hope of discovering truth only because Photography’s noeme is precisely that-has-been, and because I live in the illusion that it suffices to clean the surface of the image in order to accede to what is behind: to scrutinize means to turn the photograph over, to enter into the paper’s depth, to reach its other side (what is hidden is for us Westerners more ‘true’ than what is visible).
Alas, however hard I look, I discover nothing: if I enlarge, I see nothing but the grain of the paper: I undo the image for the sake of its substance; and if I do not enlarge, if I content myself with scrutinizing, I obtain this sole knowledge, long since possessed at first glance: that this indeed has been: the turn of the screw had produced nothing. In front of the Winter Garden Photograph I am a bad dreamer who vainly holds out his arms toward the possession of the image; I am Golaud exclaiming ‘Misery of my life!’ because he will never know Melisande’s truth (Melisande does not conceal, but she does not speak. Such is the Photograph: it cannot say what it lets us see.’

4 Pierre Choumoff was a French-Russian portrait photographer from Belarus who worked in a photography studio in Paris and died in Poland in 1936. He was quite famous as a portraitist, and some of his most famous clients, among others, were Albert Einstein, Igor Stravinsky, Serge Prokofiev. His portraits were imbued above all with the personality of his client. He would adapt his photographic technique accordingly, as a painter would do. He said of photographs that it is only a matter of understanding through an intuitive and psychological effort what is characteristic of the person to be grasped.

5 Lewis Einstein was a career diplomat stationed in Constantinople during World War I and would serve as an important witness to the Armenian Genocide.

6 Paul Poiret (1879–1944) was a leading French fashion designer, a famous and influential couturier during the first two decades of the twentieth century.

7 Mario Nunes Vais, was a well-educated and elegant man who lived in Florence at the turn of the century (1856–1932). He was not a professional photographer and considered his work a hobby. For about forty years he realized more than sixty-thousand photographs. Attentive and curious about the world around him, he was able through his photographs to portray the society of his time, without limitations and always inspired by his strong artistic sense.

8 Brian Roberts, ‘Photographic Portraits: Narrative and Memory’, FQS Forum: Qualitative Sozialforschung/FQS Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:2 (2011), n.p., https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-12.2.1680;http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1680/3203.

9 First introduced in the 1860s, cabinet card photographs were similar to cartes-de-visites, only larger.
Measuring approximately four inches by six inches and mounted on cardstock (similar to cardboard), cabinet card photos got their name from their — they were just the right size to be displayed on a cabinet. Although some cabinet cards depicting landscapes can be found, most featured Victorian-era portraits of individuals or families — it was popular to mail cabinet cards to friends and family living abroad. Early cabinet cards were sepia-toned; in later years, the majority of them were printed in black and white. Many cabinet cards feature the name and location of the photographer printed on the front of the card underneath the picture. Some have fancy back-marks advertising the photographer (this trend increased towards the end of the century when advertising became commonplace), whereas some have no markings at all. Cabinet cards reached their peak of popularity in the 1870s through the 1890s. They continued to be made into the 1900s, albeit less frequently. With the introduction of the real photo postcard in the early twentieth century, cabinet cards fell almost completely out of favor in the US, and only managed to hang on for a little longer in Europe (Source: Collectors Weekly http://www.collectorsweekly.com/photographs/cabinet-cards).

10 Baron Adolf de Meyer worked for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. He had set a standard for elegance and style, however his style inspired by the pictorialism that informed many fashion photographs was considered old-fashioned by the 1930s, and he had to leave Harper’s Bazaar in 1932. A master of fashion photography and society portraiture, he captured an elegant world that vanished with the onset of World War Two. His sophisticated photographs, marked by an unconventional use of light, have become models for many contemporary fashion photographers. ‘[Baron de Meyer] was also a magical portrait photographer, employed by Vogue from 1913 to 1921, so gifted that Cecil Beaton dubbed him “the Debussy of photography.” Where once fashion photography was stiff and awkward, he introduced dreamy, beautifully lit works, the better to flatter his clients…’ Lynn Yaeger, ‘Saluting Baron Adolph de Meyer, Vogue’ s First Staff Photographer’, Vogue Online, 1 September 2015, http://www.vogue.com/article/adolph-de-meyer-birthday-vogue-photographer

11 Adam Geczy and Vicki Karaminas, Fashion’s Double: Representations of Fashion in Painting, Photography and Film (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015), p. 27.

Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 37.1. The Acton Photograph Archive: Research and Conservation at Villa La Pietra 3, cover image. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/8164/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 191k
Légende Fig. 37.2. Cora Antinori, undated. Photograph found with an undated letter to Harold Acton addressed from Palazzo Antinori from her brother. Archival Series Number I.A.4.2.-18. recto. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/8164/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 133k
Légende Fig. 37.3. (left) Rosa Lanza di Scalea, dressed in Persian costume for the fancy-dress ball in Persian and Venetian costumes [designed by Paul Poiret of Paris] given by [the US Ambassador/consul] Lewis Einstein at Villa Schifanoia 1914. Signed and dated on the recto. Photographs by Mario Nunes Vais. Archival Series Number I.A.4.2.-folder23a.-100a. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/8164/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 144k
Légende Fig. 37.4. (right) Rosa Lanza di Scalea, dressed in Persian costume for the fancydress ball in Persian and Venetian costumes [designed by Paul Poiret of Paris] given by [the US Ambassador/consul] Lewis Einstein at Villa Schifanoia 1914. Signed and dated on the recto. Photographs by Mario Nunes Vais. Archival Series Number I.A.4.2.-folder23a.-100c. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/8164/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 183k
Légende Fig. 37.5. Louise Crawford, 1891, cabinet card. Photo by Steffens, Chicago. Annotated on the verso ‘Yours while Louise Crawford, July 2nd ‘91’. Archival Series Number I.B.3.5.-2.-recto. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/8164/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 168k
Légende Fig. 37.6. Louise Bates, née Crawford, in her wedding dress ca. 1890s. Archival Series Number I.B.3.5.51.-6. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/8164/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 116k
Légende Fig. 37.7. (left) Hortense Mitchell Acton as a child, ca. 1870. Cabinet card photo by Gehrig, Chicago. Archival Series Number I.B.1.3.-64. recto. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/8164/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 131k
Légende Fig. 37.8. (right) Hortense Mitchell Acton outside Villa La Pietra ca. 1903. Archival Series Number I.B.1.3.-103. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/8164/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 149k
Légende Fig. 37.9. Hortense Mitchell Acton outside Villa La Pietra with the dog Caesar 1903. Archival Series Number I.B.1.3.-105. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/8164/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 151k
Légende Fig. 37.10. Hortense Mitchell Acton dressed up in Persian costume for the fancy-dress ball in Persian and Venetian costume [designed by Paul Poiret of Paris] given by [the US ambassador/consul] Lewis Einstein at Villa Schifanoia 1914. Photograph signed by Nunes Vais. Archival Series Number I.B.1.4.36.-18a. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/8164/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 115k
Légende Fig. 37.11. Hortense Mitchell Acton, ca. 1920. Signed studio portraits by De Meyer. One of these was the original, which was removed from its frame in the Biblioteca in Villa La Pietra in June 2004 and replaced with a digital print. Archival Series Number I.B.1.4.42.-90. New York University, The Acton Photograph Archive, Villa La Pietra, Florence.
URL http://books.openedition.org/obp/docannexe/image/8164/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 96k

Auteur

A photographer, teacher and a curator who lives and works in Florence, Italy. As an artist, she works with a variety of devices, from pinhole, toy, and digital cameras, to mobile to alternative printing process. She teaches photography in Italian and in English for national and international schools and colleges. Alessandra has curated exhibitions of photography and helped organize festivals of photography in Italy and abroad, such as the International Triennial Festival of Photography Backlight in Tampere, Finland and SI Fest 2016 in Savignano sul Rubicone. Her main area of interest is documentary photography, photojournalism, street photography, and visual storytelling. She is frequently invited to jury International Photo Awards and Prizes, and is a regular contributor to the LensCulture website. Her photographs are shown nationally and internationally. Her work is in private and public collections, including the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the MUSINF in Senigallia, and the Museo di Montelupone. Major publications include: Autoritratto in Assenza (2016); Il Palazzo Magnifico (2009); Autori — Esperienze di fotografa stenopeica; Zone di Frontiera Urbana (2007); Valdarno, una visione in movimento (2005); Firenze Fotografa (2000). www.alessandracapodacqua.com.

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