The Image Affair:
Dreyfus in the Media, 1894-1906
On exhibit April 13 - September 4, 2015
|Image: Zola-Mouquette (Paris: Léon Hayard, ca. 1899). Anti-Dreyfusard card with movable panel, ridiculing Émile Zola as defender of Alfred Dreyfus, likely produced during the time of Zola's trial (UPenn, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Dreyfus Collection DC354.9.Z65).
The Image Affair: Dreyfus in the Media, 1894-1906 examines the infamous wrongful conviction for treason, and eventual exoneration, of Jewish officer Alfred Dreyfus as it played out in the French media at the turn of the last century. This exhibition traces the greatest scandal of fin-de-siècle France through the diverse body of images that proliferated in a country divided by anti-semitism, nationalistic fervor, juridical malpractice, and military misconduct. Encompassing the full range of the period's print culture including the illustrated press, broadsheets, photography, postcards, films and even board games, the exhibition draws almost entirely from the Lorraine Beitler Collection of the Dreyfus Affair at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the largest such collections in the world. The images and objects assembled represent a range of opposing viewpoints from the Dreyfusard and Anti-Dreyfusard camps—at turns documentary and satirical, hateful and humorous. The Image Affair encourages a critical examination of an event that engaged and galvanized French and international publics alike, emphasizing the key role that new media technologies played in its unfolding.
A full color, illustrated catalog of this exhibition with expanded essays is available here
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
1:30-3:00 PM: Public conversation between Lorraine Beitler and Norman L. Kleeblatt
Kislak Center Room 627, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Conversation about collecting and curating the sensitive visual material related to the Dreyfus Affair between Lorraine Beitler (Ed.D., collector/curator, The Lorraine Beitler Collection of the Dreyfus Affair at UPenn) and Norman L. Kleeblatt (Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator, The Jewish Museum, New York, and curator of the 1987 exhibition The Dreyfus Affair: Art, Truth, and Justice).
3:00-4:00 PM: Coffee break and exhibition viewing
4:00-6:00 PM: 2015 Lorraine Beitler Lecture
"Art, Print Culture, and Radical Politics, c. 1900"—A Symposium
Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, Kislak Center, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
A Symposium with Vanessa R. Schwartz, Professor of History, Art History and Critical Studies, University of Southern California, and S. Hollis Clayson, Professor of Art History and Bergen Evans Professor in the Humanities, Northwestern University.
6:00-7:00 PM: Public reception
Kamin Gallery, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, first floor
The exhibition and related events are sponsored by the Penn Art History Curatorial Seminar Fund, the Lorraine Beitler Lecture Fund, and the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.