A Fellow’s Field Report: Portrait Pantheons
Join Mary Catherine Mooney Fellow Gabrielle Dean for a report on her ongoing research on “portrait pantheons”—published collections of print portraits, often based on photographs and accompanied by short biographical texts, which grew in popularity along with all kinds of biographical materials throughout the nineteenth century. While the overt message of these collections was often nationalistic, and sometimes specifically political during the mid-nineteenth century conflicts about national identity, Dean is investigating how they may also have contributed to nineteenth-century ideas about authorship by promoting certain ideas about the self.
Gabrielle Dean is the William Kurrelmeyer Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at Johns Hopkins University, where she also teaches classes about literary material culture, collections, and digital exhibitions for the Museums and Society Program. She is also the Associate Editor of Archive Journal. Her research focuses on the exchanges between textual and visual culture during the industrial era of printing—from the 1820s through the 1920s—and the history of the archival imagination. She recently curated an exhibition about Edgar Allan Poe at the George Peabody Library in Baltimore. She is currently editing a small collection of essays about Emily Dickinson’s reading culture for the Dickinson Electronic Archives.