We use cookies to enhance your user experience.


14.03.2024 / Activities, News

The international conference: Photo album. Practice, metaphor, context.

The international conference: Photo album. Practice, metaphor, context.

The Museum of Warsaw organizes the international conference accompanying the exhibition ‘Lovely Is the Youth of Our Age: Photo Albums 1850–1950‘. The exhibition will serve as a starting point for theoretical reflection and an invitation to reconsider the collections of photography albums and methods of working with them in cultural institutions.

The conference will take place on 8-9th April 2024 in the Museum of Warsaw (Rynek Starego Miasta 42, 00-272 Warsaw). The conference will be held in English and Polish with simultaneous translations provided.

At the Museum of Warsaw, we are seeking ways to work with photography albums that fully appreciate their multidimensionality and agency. A photography album endures – each opening, accompanied by storytelling, interventions, and interpretations, builds its successive layers. Therefore, it poses both a research and a curatorial challenge.

We believe that incorporating theoretical insights into museum work can lead to new discoveries and revitalize albums that are often confined to storage. Therefore, we propose an exchange of perspectives, experiences, and reflections in this field among researchers, museum professionals, conservators, and creators.

During the conference, we will focus on three areas of practice: research practices, creative practices, and practices of working with albums in cultural institutions. We will be interested in the contexts, functions, histories of photographic albums, and above all their performative dimension: evoking situations, emotions, bonds, memories. Finally, we also want to discuss the album in the broadest perspective – as a metaphor for memory, a figure of remembrance.


1st day of the conference

9:30AM – 10AM – registration


Introduction and moderation: Iwona Kurz (Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw)

Keynote lecture: Andrea Kunard (National Gallery of Canada): Constantly Unfolding and Consistently Present: The Active Life of Historical Photograph Albums

Lech Lechowicz (Lodz Film School): Photo Album – A Memory Materialized

Ewa Manikowska (Instutite of Art Polish, Academy of Sciences): Photo Albums and Nineteenth-Century Culture of (Auto)Biography

Agata Koprowicz (Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw): Peasant Self-Perception. Photographs of the Readers of Gazeta Świąteczna from Konrad Prószyński’s Collection

Ewa Nowak-Mitura (Museum of Warsaw): Album of Scenes from Rural Life? Photographs Taken by Marcin Olszyński in Starogród (1856)

1:30AM – 3PM – lunch break


Agnieszka Kajczyk (JHI), Anna Duńczyk-Szulc (Museum of Warsaw): On Both Sides of the War: Albums from the Warsaw Ghetto

Katarzyna Adamska (Museum of Warsaw): Albums of Rosemarie Lincke, a nurse of the German Red Cross (1941-1944)

Sandra Starke (Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam): Between private perception and public image. Photo Albums of the GDR

Julia Staniszewska (Museum of Warsaw): The Album of Stefan Stattler, Director of the Lilpop, Rau, and Loewenstein Engineering Company

2nd day of the conference

9:30AM – 10AM – registration


Introduction and moderation: Krzysztof Pijarski (Lodz Film School):

Keynote lecture: Patrizia Di Bello (Birkbeck, University of London): Jo Spence: Radicalising the Family Album (1979), Then and Now

Małgorzata Grąbczewska: The Photo Album in the Sculptural Practice of August Zamoyski

Monika Michałowicz (Museum of Warsaw): Stella Szacherska’s Albums

Elisabeth Kamenicek: Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Fotoalbum. An Archive of Memories 

Agnieszka Karpowicz (Institute of Polish Culture, University of Warsaw): Magical ‘Clicks’ and ‘Snaps’. On Photography (in the Albums) of the Themersons

Baiba Tetere (Riga Stradins University): The Photo Album – A Subjective Narrative

2PM – 3PM – lunch break


Kristin Halla Baldvinsdóttir (National Museum of Iceland): Keeping it together: researching Icelandic photo albums

Ágústa Kristófersdóttir (National Museum of Iceland): Harvesting Other People’s Memories

Karolina Puchała-Rojek (Museum of Warsaw): Aneta Grzeszykowska’s Albums

Izabela Pluta (UNSW Sydney): Temporal Distance, Spatial Logic. Photography’s Relationship to Memory

Conference program committee: Katarzyna Adamska, Monika Michałowicz, Ewa Nowak-Mitura, Karolina Puchała-Rojek

Coordination: Wanda Kaczor

Exhibition ‘Lovely Is the Youth of Our Age: Photo Albums 1850–1950‘ and the conference are part of the ‘Focus on photography’ grant implemented by the Museum of Warsaw and the National Museum of Iceland thanks to the Norwegian and EEA Funds.

The conference is co-financed by the British Council Foundation.