What a Lady

Lady Pauline Trevelyan, a 19th-century spitfire whose diaries offer a glimpse into the early days of photography, is the subject of a discussion tonight at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak). And she probably wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Known as a free spirit and a correspondent of art critic John Ruskin, Trevelyan was so captivated by the emerging art that she, too, became a photographer. April Watson, the Nelson’s associate curator of photography, notes that Trevelyan’s diaries offer a record of the excitement surrounding photography’s early evolution. “There aren’t many contemporaneous accounts of photography as it was developing,” Watson says.
Tonight at 6 in the Atkins Auditorium, Larry J. Schaaf, an expert in the field of early British photography, gives a lecture called “Splendid Calotypes and Hideous Men: the Lady Trevelyan Diaries and the New Art of Photography.” The event corresponds with the museum’s exhibit Developing Greatness: The Origins of American Photography, 1839-1885. Call 816-751-1278 for free tickets and additional information.

Aug. 3-Dec. 30, 2007