Exhibition and Colloquium, The British School at Rome

Gersheim, St. Pauls © The Warburg Institute, London.

Ruins in the archive: constructing visual histories in photography and broadcast media

THURSDAY 14 NOVEMBER 10.00–18.00
at the The British School at Rome

This one-day colloquium.engaged with visual archives in response to either loss or potential loss due to the destruction of war. The colloquium explored four thematics: Entering the ArchiveInterpreting the Archive, Narrating the Archive and Playing the ArchiveDiscussing historical examples of visual archives compiled in times of crisis.

The presentations were:
Michael Berkowitz (UCL, Jewish Studies) – Walter and Helmut Gernsheim, Fritz Saxl, and the National Buildings Record project: before, during, after.  
Alessandra Giovenco (BSR archivist) – Learning from images of the past: how the study of archives can contribute the preservation and protection of our cultural heritage in conflict areas.  
Steffen Haug (Bilsderfahrzeuge, WI) – Walter Benjamin and the image archives of old Paris.
Martina Caruso (Assistant Director BSR) – Invisible Archives: Agnes and Dora Bulwer’s Archaeological Photographs in the Mediterranean.  Costanza Caraffa (head of the Photo collection, Kunsthistorisches Institut
in Florenz) – Negotiating (national) heritage in the photo archive.  
Julius Bryant (Head of Word and Image V&A, London)- Wittkower, architectural photography and the period eye.  
JohnWyver (Westminster University) “Cloaca maxima” or cornucopia? Early television and the visual arts.

Ruins in the Archive, exhibition view
The exhibitionRuins in the Archive, was open during the conference and was a reference for its proceedings. It was exhibition of archival documents from The Warburg Institute and the British School at Rome. On display were photographs Helmut Gernsheim made of important London monuments for the National Buildings Record to document them in case of their destruction during World War II, and John Bryan Ward-Perkins photographs of war damaged Italian buildings and monuments, also taken during World War II.  
Ruins in the Archive Exhibition