Friday, November 9, 2012


MdHS Header

Battle of North Point Monument



WHEN: Thursday, November 8-Sunday, November 11 (see below for schedule)
Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., Baltimore

Above: John Plumbe, 1809-1857 Half plate daguerreotype: Monument commemorating the Battle of North Point, Calvert Street and Fayette Street, Baltimore, Maryland Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.

This exhibit is the largest collection of Maryland daguerreotypes ever displayed. Ross J. Kelbaugh, guest curator of the exhibit, is also author of the new book Maryland's Civil War Photographs: The Sesquicentennial Collection just published by the Maryland Historical Society Press.

The daguerreotype was the world's first type of practical photograph. Introduced by inventor Louis Daguerre in Paris in 1839, the technique became wildly popular, quickly spreading throughout the world. The daguerreotype's heyday was from about 1840 to the late 1850s, although some were made into the Civil War years and later.

At their best, they are astonishing, unique, works of art, beautifully toned photographs on polished silvered plates that are protected by leather or plastic cases. Millions were made and many fine examples remain as collector's items, museum showpieces and objects for study by photohistorians. The Daguerreian Society includes collectors, curators, researchers, modern practitioners and others interested in this form of photographic art; hundreds are expected to be attracted to Baltimore for the seminar. Additionally, the Society invites guest arts educators from the region to attend in an effort to encourage their students to learn about 19th century daguerreotypy.

  • On Thursday evening the group will be treated at the Gala Reception in Frances Hall at the MdHS. Speakers at the gala include Mike Robinson, president of The Daguerreian Society; Burt Kummerow, president of the Maryland Historical Society; Ross J. Kelbaugh, guest curator of a special exhibit for the symposium about Maryland in the Civil War; and Neil David MacDonald and staff of the Archive of Modern Conflict, Toronto, Canada.
  • On Friday, Nov. 9, in France Hall on the Maryland Historical Society campus, Society members will attend lectures covering a range of research topics about daguerreotypy. Friday evening, the contemporary daguerreians and contemporary collectors will share a salon experience, beginning at 9 p.m. in the Renaissance Hospitality Suite.
  • From 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, Nov. 10, the public is welcome to attend the Society's annual TradeFair, to be held in the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, 202 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore. Dealers from around the country will offer hundreds of daguerreotypes and other forms of antique photography. In a first-ever bonus at a Society TradeFair, Joan Severa - a retired curator of costume at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin - will check out daguerreotypes brought by the public and let them know about when the photos were taken; the limit is one per TradeFair attendee.

    In addition, Severa will autograph copies of her books about fashions in 19th century photographs. Sally Anyan, the Society's vice president, urged the public, "Don't miss this fabulous opportunity to meet with Joan and have her look at your one image to help date it through her powers of keen observation of the clothing, hairstyles, and mannerisms, etc."
  • The symposium will conclude on Sunday, Nov. 11, with a workshop planning next year's symposium in France. Members of the press are invited to cover the seminar's talks, TradeFair and the exhibit of modern daguerreotypes.

Founded in 1844, The Maryland Historical Society Museum and Library occupies an entire city block in the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore. The society's mission is to "collect, preserve, and interpret the objects and materials that reflect Maryland's diverse cultural heritage." The Society is home to the original manuscript of the Star-Spangled Banner and publishes a quarterly titled Maryland Historical Magazine.

For more information, contact Marketing Director Laura Rodini at 410.685.3750 Ext. 322 or

The Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201-4674