Words & Pictures

Possible Selves: A Lecture by Horace Ballard

Houston Center for Photography is pleased to present a lecture by Williams College Museum of Art curator, Horace Ballard, on the Museum’s exhibition possible selves: queer foto vernaculars. Ballard will speak about the curation of the exhibition and the global impact of queer identities on the evolution of portrait photography. The works exhibited in possible selves span over 60 years of photographic history and include artists such as Nan Goldin, Andy Warhol, and Lorna Simpson, along with over 200 images from social media. By linking the fine art photograph with the social media snapshot, possible selves emphasizes the ways in which queer communities are created through visual technologies and how photography has been used to interrogate normative and non-normative identities since the beginning of the medium.

This lecture is part of a city-wide initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which paved the way for the gay liberation movement and the contemporary fight for LGBTQIA rights in America.

This lecture is part of Houston Center for Photography’s ongoing series, Words & Pictures, a lecture and conversation series between photographers, writers, and thinkers of the medium.

About Horace Ballard

Curator of American Art, Williams College Museum of Art 

Ballard specializes in American art of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. He is particularly interested in the history of photography, ideologies of Romanticism, gender in early-American portraiture, the visual culture(s) of war, and the formulation of queer canons across the history of art. He received a Ph.D. from Brown University and is currently preparing a book manuscript, entitled, “The Re-construction of Beauty: Photography, Whiteness, and US Masculinity, 1865-1900.” He has held prior positions at the Museum of Art of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD); the Yale University Art Gallery; the Birmingham Museum of Art; and Monticello/Thomas Jefferson Foundation. He also serves as a freelance writer and consultant on the black radical tradition and post-black art practices, writing and editing for the Smithsonian; the Vera List Center of Art and Politics at the New School; the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Galerie Myrtis in Baltimore.


June 18, 2019
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm