“The advent of photography transformed how one saw and understood the seen world, pausing time and letting viewers imagine themselves in the scene,” said Frank Goodyear, co-director of the museum and co-curator of the exhibition. “In Light of Rome traces the technological innovations and advancements in photography through images of one of the most recognizable and photographed destinations in the world. It is easy to take photography of the Eternal City for granted in our modern times, so this exhibition is a special chance to slow down and remember the wonder inspired by the invention of photography.”
The photographs on exhibit have been loaned by collectors Mary K. and John F. McGuigan Jr. of Maine, whose collection is one of the most comprehensive groups of nineteenth-century Roman photographs held outside Italy, according to the museum.
“It is exciting to be collaborating with the Bowdoin College Museum of Art to share works from this collection and underscore Rome’s connections to the history of photography as an artistic medium,” said John F. McGuigan Jr., who co-curated the exhibition. “For several decades now, I have been researching and collecting photographic works from this period, and this is a great opportunity to make them publicly accessible to a wide audience, both through the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue.”
In Light of Rome remains on view through June 4, 2023. The illustrated, hardcover catalogue is available from Penn State University Press.