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The Daguerreian Society Talk Series “Horology in Photography” by Bob Frishman April 10th 2021


Since the earliest days of photography, clocks and watches have appeared in images for many reasons. Sometimes, as in 700 years of fine-art paintings that show clocks and watches, they are present for symbolic and metaphorical purposes — mortality, time’s passage, affluence, modernity, technological sophistication, etc. Other times they form a key element in a humorous or descriptive narrative offered in the picture, or are ‘occupational’ views of craftsmen. And from another angle, timepieces have been an important component of the photographic process, determining critical exposure and development times to ensure acceptable finished products. Using dozens of photographic images to illustrate these issues, Bob Frishman will present an in-depth program on the many links between horology — the science of timekeeping — and photography.

Bio: During the past forty years, Bob Frishman has established a reputation as one of America’s leading practitioners and scholars of horology. He has repaired and restored more than 7,000 antique clocks and watches, published more than 100 articles and reviews on the history, technology, and cultural importance of mechanical timekeeping, and has lectured on the subject to more than 100 audiences. As Chairman of the Time Symposium Committee of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors (NAWCC), Bob created and organized groundbreaking horological conferences at the Winterthur Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Henry Ford Museum. His 2017 “Horology in Art” symposium, hosted at the Boston museum, was the first international conference on the subject; details on its topics and eminent speakers are at www.horologyinart.com.

Bob is an NAWCC Fellow and a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, a London guild founded in 1631. More information about him is at www.bell-time.com.

View past talks at The Daguerreian Society Talk Series

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