Photographs of the “Dust of the Highway”: Georgiana Goddard King’s Way of Saint James


  • Annemarie Iker Princeton University



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. 

Author Biography

Annemarie Iker, Princeton University

Annemarie Iker is a doctoral student in the Department of Art and Archeology at Princeton University. She received her MA in Art History from Williams College. Her research focuses on artistic and scholarly connections between southern Europe, northern Europe, and the Americas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and she has a special interest in the historiography of Spanish medieval art.




How to Cite

Iker, A. (2016). Photographs of the “Dust of the Highway”: Georgiana Goddard King’s Way of Saint James. Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture, 5(1), 27–52.