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Panorama or Photography? Adalbert Stifter and Franz Stelzhamer's Pictures from Everyday Life

March 20, 2018 - 4:30pm

Folwell Hall, Room 4
9 Pleasant St SE Minneapolis MN

Vienna and the Viennese in Pictures from Life (1841-1844) was a multiyear collaborative project in which journalists and writers of Austrian literature attempted to capture the essence of urban life for a flourishing readership of Viennese city literature. Vance Byrd explores how technological discourse on the panorama affected the way that early nineteenth-century life and literature were narrated in this publication. Vienna and the Viennese captures a moment in which panoramic representation was losing ground to the new visual language of photography. Adalbert Stifter, the collection’s editor, and the contributor Franz Stelzhamer considered whether the panorama or photography was the optimal medium with which to grasp the contradictions of city life.

Vance Byrd is Associate Professor in the Department of German at Grinnell College. He has published on topics related to media studies, museum studies, environmental humanities, cultures of commemoration, and graphic novels. He is the author of A Pedagogy of Observation: Nineteenth-Century Panoramas, German Literature, and Reading Culture (2017).