Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Spring 2005 Newsletter

Center Welcomes New Photography Curator


New Executive Curator of Photography
and Visual Collections Dr. Ellen Handy.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Ellen Handy will join the Ransom Center in September as Executive Curator of Photography and Visual Collections. Dr. Handy brings a wealth of scholarly and curatorial experience in photography and fine art to the Center. Throughout her career, Handy has maintained both academic and museum affiliations and projects. Her curatorial experience in photography began with research assistant positions at the Canadian Center for Architecture and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and most recently she served as associate curator of exhibitions and curator of collections at the International Center of Photography in New York City from 1995 to 2000. She has also independently curated a number of exhibitions of prints and paintings.

Handy's academic career is equally impressive. She received her doctorate in art history from Princeton University in 1994, with a dissertation focused on the work of the Victorian fine art photographer Peter Henry Emerson.While earning her doctorate, she was assistant professor of art at Bard College, acting as chair for two years. She then taught connoisseurship in Christie's M.A. degree program in the history of modern art, and became its program director in 2001. Since 2002 she has served as chairperson of the art department at City College of New York.

Dr. Handy has published and spoken on a wide range of topics in both fine art and photography. Her art history essays and criticism concern a diverse range of artists, including Susan Rothenberg, Jenny Holzer, and Kazimir Malevich. She has published several books, including Reflections in a Glass Eye: Works from the International Center of Photography Collection and Images from the Machine Age: Selections from the Daniel Cowin Collection. Her writing on photography spans nearly the entire history of the medium. In addition to Peter Henry Emerson, her work on nineteenth-century photography has examined narratives of colonialism in photographic albums, Victorian urban photography, and commercial photography in Japan. Handy's work on twentieth-century photography also covers a broad spectrum, from precisionism, the images of Weegee and Helen Levitt, to digital photography.  

-David Coleman

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