Photographs of the “Dust of the Highway”: Georgiana Goddard King’s Way of Saint James
Keywords:Spain, medieval art and architecture, photography, historiography, agency, Georgiana Goddard King, Arthur Kingsley Porter, Santiago de Compostela
This article explores the use of photography in American art historian Georgiana Goddard King’s Way of Saint James (1920), a genre-defying book on the Camino de Santiago that intertwines art history with anthropology, literature, history, geography, and narrative. Despite King's groundbreaking scholarship on medieval Spain her legacy has been overshadowed by subsequent art historians, chief among them Arthur Kingsley Porter. Here, it is suggested that King’s emphasis on personal experiences of the pilgrimage—both historical and contemporary—diminished the value of her work, especially when compared with Porter’s supposedly ‘objective,’ ‘scientific’ studies. These methodological differences, visually manifest in King and Porter’s respective approaches to photographic evidence, have implications for medieval, historiographic, and feminist art historical inquiries.
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