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Pictures We Keep, Secrets We Share

Header Image: Shawn Michelle Smith, “Untitled”, 1996

What are the secrets we keep, and the stories we tell, through photographs? How did a photograph described in words but never published become one of the field’s most influential images?

Roland Barthes’ famous Winter Garden photograph – an unpublished snapshot of his mother as a child – shaped his inquiry into the nature of photography in his book Camera Lucida (1980). In anticipation of the 40th anniversary of the text this year, artist Odette England invited over 200 photography-based artists, writers, critics, curators, and historians from around the world to contribute an image or text that reflects on the Winter Garden photograph – one of the world’s most famous unseen images – and its legacy, resulting in the remarkable book and exhibition project Keeper of the Hearth: Picturing Roland Barthes’ Unseen Photograph.

Alongside the exhibition at the Houston Center for Photography (September 10, 2020 – January 10, 2021), this unique online panel discussion will feature four acclaimed photographers: Barbara Bosworth, Binh Danh, Eric Gottesman, and Northeastern CAMD’s Assistant Teaching Professor of Photography Dana Mueller. Together with Odette, the artists will share secrets and personal reflections about their images, and those of others featured in Keeper of the Hearth. The panel will be moderated by Dalia Habib Linssen, photography scholar and Head of Academic Engagement at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Registration for this event is now closed. If you have missed the deadline but would still like to join please email [email protected]

The Panelists


Barbara Bosworth

Barbara Bosworth is a photographer whose large-format images explore both overt and subtle relationships between humans and the rest of the natural world. Bosworth’s work has been widely exhibited, notably in recent retrospectives at the Denver Art Museum in Colorado, Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Phoenix Art Museum in Arizona. Her publications include, The Heavens (Radius Books, 2018), The Meadow (Radius Books, 2015), Natural Histories (Radius Books, 2013), and Trees: National Champions (MIT Press; Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, 2005).


Binh Danh

Binh Danh reconfigures traditional photographic techniques and processes in unconventional ways to delve into the connection between history, identity, and place. He earned a BFA from San José State University and an MFA from Stanford University, and teaches photography at SJSU.


Odette England

Odette England uses photography, performance, writing, and the archive to explore autobiography, gender, ritual, place, and vernacular photography.

England is the Visiting Artist-in-Residence at Amherst College in Massachusetts. She is also a resident artist of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program in New York. Her work has shown in more than 90 solo, two-person, and group exhibitions worldwide.


Eric Gottesman

Eric Gottesman is a Creative Capital artist, a 2020 John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, a parent, a co-founder of For Freedoms, a professor at SUNY Purchase, and a Mentor in the Arab Documentary Photography Project.


Dalia Habib Linssen (Moderator)

Dalia Habib Linssen is the Head of Academic Engagement at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Prior to her current role, she taught courses on the histories and theories of photography at Rhode Island School of Design. Her research focuses on documentary photography and object based learning. Linssen holds a Ph.D. in Art History from Boston University.


Dana Mueller

Dana Mueller’s narratives explore individual and collective identities using social context and landscape in relation to cultural and political realities. A second major theme is her return to her homeland of Thuringia and the emigrant experience of Heimat as otherness. Her work has been extensively exhibited and Mueller is currently Assistant Teaching Professor at Northeastern University.