Graduate Student Projects

Posted by on May 28 2009 | Student Work

From September through April every year the Department of Photographs expands from a team of 6 to 26. We are lucky to be the second year hosts to the Master of Arts in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management program. The MA is a joint program with Ryerson  University; the students spend their first year in Toronto and their second year here at Eastman House. Having 20 students around certainly livens things up and they do a tremendous amount work cataloging and researching the collection. Jennifer McInturff, one of the 2009 graduates, did her thesis project on a GEH collection of celluloid medallions and buttons that I am showing a small selection of here. The collection is going to be our next set on the Flickr Commons so this is a sneak peak!  

Unidentified Photographer, Woman in flapper dress, gelatin silver print (POP) with applied color, mounted on celluloid medallion with easel back, ca. 1925.

Unidentified Photographer, Woman in flapper dress, gelatin silver print (POP) with applied color, mounted on celluloid medallion with easel back, ca. 1925.

The following is an except from Jennie’s Flickr write-up: Large photographic buttons were popular from 1900 to 1930.  In their time the large buttons were commonly referred to as medallions and plaques. Most incorporate a photograph into a decorative border and the back has either a hook for hanging or an easel stand for propping. The borders were mass produced and handpicked by the customer from samples and sample sheets. Buttons that are small enough to fit in a closed fist are most often true buttons with a pin-back, or have mirrors on the back and are referred to as pocket mirrors. Buttons of all kinds were purchased from door-to-door salesmen, photography studios and through catalogs.

Thanks to Jennie for all her hard work!

Unidentified Photographer, Boy on porch steps,gelatin silver print (POP) halftone photoengraving print, mounted on celluloid medallion with easel back, ca. 1922.

Unidentified Photographer, Boy on porch steps,gelatin silver print (POP) halftone photoengraving print, mounted on celluloid medallion with easel back, ca. 1922.

Unidentified Photographer, African American woman and sweet peas, gelatin silver print and chromolithograph , mounted on celluloid medallion, ca. 1920

Unidentified Photographer, African American woman and sweet peas, gelatin silver print and chromolithograph , mounted on celluloid medallion, ca. 1920

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    Jessica Johnston is an Assistant Curator in the Department of Photographs at George Eastman House. She manages numerous exhibitions and projects at the museum including our recent participation on the Flickr Commons.

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    One Response to “Graduate Student Projects”

    1. [...] Graduate Student Projects — Take a sneak peak at the next Flickr set from the George Eastman House. [...]

      29 May 2009 at 9:21 am