Publication

  • The State of Urban Imagery: Berlin Photography during the Second Empire
    Miriam Paeslack
    Author
    University of Minnesota Press, 2016
  • GRANTEE
    Miriam Paeslack
    GRANT YEAR
    2015

Georg Bartels, Rosenstraße, east side, 1894. Courtesy of Landesarchiv Berlin.

The State of Urban Imagery examines the role images of architecture and urban sites played in establishing the terms under which contemporaries made sense of the rise of modern Berlin society. This project tackles the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century's ways of using reproductive imagery to communicate the new capital's transformation and dramatic growth; its "coming of age" as a city among older European metropolises; and its engagement with modern-age consumption, technology, spectacle, and tourism. Berlin emerges as a city fraught with questions that cities such as Paris and London had to address decades earlier: How was progress to be absorbed by the city? What roles would its history have? How did it identify as a new capital? In four chapters—Crafting the Metropolis, Framing Progress, Tracing Transformation, and Inventing Tradition—this book provides rare analysis for a long-neglected era of Berlin's photographic and urban history.

Miriam Paeslack is assistant professor of modern and contemporary visual culture and museum management at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). Trained as an art historian and historian of law in Germany, Italy, and the United States, she specializes in the analysis of visual representations of urban spaces and concepts of memory and identity. Paeslack is the editor of Ineffably Urban: Imaging Buffalo (Ashgate, 2013) and of two issues of Visual Resources on urban and German photography (2006 and 2010). Her essays and research are published in journals, such as Future Anterior, the Journal of ArchitectureFotogeschichte, and Rundbrief Fotografie; books, such as Post-Conflict Performance, Film, and Visual Arts: Cities of Memory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), Spatial Turns: Space, Place, and Mobility in German Literary and Visual Culture (Rodopi, 2010), and Berlin: Divided City, 1945–1989 (Berghahn Press, 2010).