Wiggins Lecture by Georgia B. Barnhill
“Bringing Pictures Back: Illustration for Nineteenth-Century American Literature”
The James Russell Wiggins Lecture in the History of the Book in American Culture
It has long been assumed that early America lacked a vibrant visual culture, but the printed record indicates another reality, one that has often been ignored by historians of the book and others. In this presentation, Georgia Barnhill will share some of her research about the production and reception of illustrations for poetry and fiction. In particular Barnhill will explain the challenging issues that faced nineteenth-century publishers and some of those facing researchers today. AAS institutional support and digital projects have facilitated Barnhill’s research, and she will reflect on the needs and opportunities made available to twenty-first-century students and scholars of the early American visual record.
Barnhill worked at AAS for forty-four years before her retirement in 2012. Among her many accomplishments during her illustrious career here was the establishment of the Center for Historic American Visual Culture (CHAViC), of which she also served as the first director. She was elected to membership in the Society in 1990.