Lecture: Introducing the Harriet Hayden Albums: A Social History of Photography, Agency & Identity in Late 19th Century Boston
with Theo Tyson
Join Theo Tyson, Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art and Culture as she shares her insights and inquiries on a set of nineteenth-century photo albums that belonged to Harriet Bell Hayden (1816-1893), a survivor of slavery and anti-slavery activist. Married to famed abolitionist Lewis Hayden (1811-1889), Mrs. Hayden’s albums are a unique opportunity to explore the racial, social, and cultural history of Boston’s thriving Beacon Hill anti-slavery community. Tyson will discuss the types of visual and material culture needed to create and sustain archival collections. She will address how institutions can accurately share the histories of African Americans, formerly enslaved Black people, and especially Black women.
Theo Tyson is a curator and avant-garde academic. Her research is firmly rooted in historical and contemporary photography and the performativity of fashioning an identity. She uses fashion, art, and sociology to marry visual and material culture as an accessible, universal language to offer sartorial narratives that provide unique points of entry for civil discourse. Having worked previously with SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film and Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Tyson is currently the Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art and Culture at the Boston Athenæum. @ms_theotyson | theotyson.com