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Renown Photography Curator to Speak at Endicott College

Endicott College is pleased to announce the first public North Shore presentation by Dr. Sarah Kennel, newly appointed Curator of Photography at the Peabody Essex Museum. She will present, The Material Turn, on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 4:00 PM in the Rose Performance Hall, Manninen Center for the Arts, Endicott College, 376 Hale Street, Beverly.  The presentation will be followed by a reception at 5:00 PM.  This presentation is in conjunction with the exhibit, Carol Toth:  Pioneering Artist, Photographer and Educator now on display through December 11.  The presentation and reception are free and open to the public.


Previous to this appointment, Sarah Kennel was associate curator of photographs at the National Gallery of Art, Washington from 2006-2015, where she contributed to numerous exhibitions including André Kertész (2005); The Art of the American Snapshot(2007); In the Forest of Fontainebleau: Painters and Photographers from Corot to Monet (2008); In the Darkroom: Photographic Processes before the Digital Age (2009); The Serial Portrait: Photography and Identity in the Last One Hundred Years (2012); Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929:When Art Danced with Music; and Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris (2013). She is currently organizing a large-scale exhibition of the work of Sally Mann.


Of her upcoming talk Dr. Kennel says, “Recently, across a variety of disciplines, an emphasis on materiality and objecthood has emerged, displacing other interpretive models that stress discursive and social formations.  In this talk, I explore some recent trends in photographic practice that signal a renewed fascination with the materiality of photography and consider these in relation to the rise of digital technologies as well as to earlier moments in art practice, including the 1970s, when many artists, including Carl Toth, sought to expand the vocabulary of photography by combining it with sculpture or by mining new imaging technologies.”


Dr. Kennel holds a B.A. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in art history from the University of California, Berkeley, completing her dissertation on the relationship between dance and the visual arts in early 20th-century Europe. In addition to her curatorial activities, Kennel has taught the history of art at George Washington University; the University of California, Berkeley and Princeton University. A specialist in nineteenth-century photography, Kennel has lectured and published widely on various topics in modern art and the history of photography.


In addition to this special presentation, the event is also the official reception for the cutting edge exhibit, Carl Toth: Pioneering Artist, Photographer and Educator. Carl Toth’s artworks have been described as intellectual and playful, definitive, and vague: The images are deceptively complex and philosophical. His subjects include machines, landscapes, family members, toys, and other non-descript materials. Toth’s choice of photographic media is equally as eclectic; media include hand-tinted black and white prints, SX-70, Xerography, and chromogenic prints. Endicott College Dean of Visual and Performing Arts, Mark Towner, said, “What a fitting context for Dr. Kennel to present for the first time on the North Shore, as we present Toth’s first solo exhibit in Massachusetts.” As an artist and scholar Toth has lectured worldwide, and his work has been included in the collections of major museums, cultural institutions and corporate collections in the United States and abroad including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the International Museum of Photography, Rochester, New York, and Australian National Gallery, Canberra. He has been the recipient of three Creative Artists Grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts as well as three Individual Artist Fellowships from the National Endowment for Arts.


Dr. Kennel’s presentation and the Toth exhibit with accompanying catalog are made possible with financial support from the van Otterloo Family Foundation and Endicott College. If you have any questions regarding Kennel’s talk, The Material Turn, the exhibit Carl Toth: Pioneering Artist, Photographer and Educator, or want to schedule a group tour, please contact Kathleen Moore, Coordinator of Visual Arts at 978-232-2655 or