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602 | A Presidency in Pictures
602 | A Presidency in Pictures

Sunday, November 1 | 1-2 PM
Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium
230 S Columbus Dr | Chicago, IL | 60603
  • Members: $9
  • Public: $12
  • Students and Teachers: $5

The Obama White House regularly uses Flickr and other social media sites to disseminate intimate snapshots in real time, shifting the relationship between photography and the broader image of a US presidency. This careful attention to images – and the technology used to share them – has a long political history. From Abraham Lincoln to today, pictures of the presidency provide a compelling lens for examining the history of the medium. Drawing on her work in progress, The Camera Politic, Cara Finnegan of the University of Illinois explores photography’s role in shaping American public life and the power of its presidency.

The annual Richard Gray Visual Art Series recognizes a significant gift from founding CHF board member and distinguished art dealer Richard Gray. This program is presented in partnership with the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Cara Finnegan is an award-winning writer, teacher and historian whose work explores the role of photography as a tool for public life. An Associate Professor of Communication and Conrad Humanities Professorial Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she is the author of Making Photography Matter: A Viewer’s History from the Civil War to the Great Depression (Illinois, 2015) and Picturing Poverty: Print Culture and FSA Photographs (Smithsonian, 2003). Her ideas about photography have appeared in a variety of popular media outlets, including Chicago Public Radio’s “Odyssey.”

  • Richard Gray Visual Art Series
  • 1757, 1785, 1821