Bard Graduate Center is devoted to the study of decorative arts, design history, and material culture through research, advanced degrees, exhibitions, publications, and events.
From Kid Click to Snapshot Susie: Child Photographer Heroes and Heroines in British and US Comics
A Modern Design History Lecture
March 20 at 6:00 pm
38 West 86th Street, Lecture Hall
$15 General | $12 Seniors | Free for people associated with a college or university, people with museum ID, people with disabilities and caregivers, and BGC members
Mid-century comics on both sides of the Atlantic portrayed children as camera users through product advertisements, photography competitions, and—especially—fictional depictions of heroic child photographers. In the illustrated hands of comic characters like “Kid Click” and “Snapshot Susie,” cameras could figure as tools for conquest (paralleling weaponry and surveillance devices) or operate as metaphorical moral compasses for personal development, decency, and altruism. In this lecture, Annebella Pollen explores how these comic adventures, particularly when triangulated with the camera promotions and children’s photographs on parallel pages, offer a productive space for understanding children’s media production and the mediation of their world.
Annebella Pollen is a professor of visual and material culture at the University of Brighton, United Kingdom, where she researches histories of art, design, photography, and dress. Her books include Mass Photography: Collective Histories of Everyday Life; The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift: Intellectual Barbarians; Nudism in a Cold Climate; More than a Snapshot: A Visual History of Photo Wallets; and Art without Frontiers: The Story of the British Council, Visual Arts and a Changing World. Pollen is a recipient of a Philip Leverhulme Prize, which she is using to develop a new publication and exhibition on the history of photography by children.
Image: Camera Comics cover, 1945.
Date & Time
Wed, Mar 20, 2024 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM