A Career of Japan is the first study of one of the major photographers and personalities of nineteenth-century Japan. Baron Raimund von Stillfried was the most important foreign-born photographer of the Meiji era and one of the first globally active photographers of his generation. He played a key role in the international image of Japan and the adoption of photography within Japanese society itself.
This talk will reflect on the historiographical challenges that were encountered in the writing of the first detailed study of von Stillfried and his work. Dr Luke Gartlan will present a brief overview of the Austrian’s career, stepping back from the details of his activities to ask broader questions on the relevance of such studies to the field of Meiji-period visual culture. Why do we need a book on Stillfried? In what ways does his career re-orient current understandings of nineteenth-century photography in Japan?
Dr Gartlan will also introduce the broader themes of his new book, and will argue that the historiographical division between ‘Japanese’ and ‘non-Japanese’ photographers misrepresents the entangled nature of Meiji Japan’s photographic industry.
A Career of Japan: Baron Raimund von Stillfried and Early Yokohama Photography will be on sale during the evening for the special price of £60 (30% discount on RRP, courtesy of Brill Academic publishers).Discount Voucher and Order Form
About the contributors
Dr Luke Gartlan
Dr Luke Gartlan is a lecturer in the School of Art History, University of St Andrews. He is the editor of the peer-reviewed international quarterly journal History of Photography and co-editor, with Ali Behdad, of Photography’s Orientalism: New Essays on Colonial Representation (Getty Research Institute, 2013). Dr Gartlan has published widely on nineteenth-century photography in Japan, and was guest editor of a special issue on this topic for History of Photography (May 2009). His research concerns photography and cultural exchange in the nineteenth century, especially with reference to the camera’s role in colonial-era visual culture, histories of travel and exploration, and non-Western responses to photography.