Polaroid Spotlight Talks

PLEASE NOTE: The Polaroid Talks have been cancelled.

Explore The Polaroid Project with guest scientists, artists, and designers who will share their unique perspectives on particular aspects of the exhibition. Talks begin at 2:00 p.m. Museum visitors of age 12+

January 11

Meet Tom Norton, one of the artists featured in The Polaroid Project.

Tom Norton is an artist, designer, inventor, and entrepreneur whose creative work includes innovative photography, video, jewelry, artists' books, illustration, and graphic design. His works have been featured in Boston-area galleries and in museums in this country and around the world. He first learned about Polaroid and instant photography around 1953. In the 1970s he was involved in the artistic evolution of instant imaging as copy machine technology evolved from electro-photographic to computer-graphic. In the late 1970s he explored complex transformative applications of Polaroid technology for graphic imaging in the years before Photoshop. He was a key member of Muriel Cooper's Visible Language Workshop before it moved to the Media Lab in 1985. In 2018, he donated more than 50 of his 20x24 prints and many other graphic works to the MIT Museum—one of which is featured in The Polaroid Project exhibition.

February 8

Meet chemists Gerry Gomes with Paul Nangeroni and Ted MClelland, who worked on the development of new Polaroid films.

Chemist Gerry Gomes was a senior scientist at Polaroid from 1986 to 2008. Holder of three patients for Polaroid Film Technology, Gomes was involved in applied chemistry work, rather than basic research. He and his colleagues will introduce visitors to some of the basics of Polaroid film technology as well as examples of some of the challenges they faced trying to tackle some of the most difficult problems in modern chemists.

March 14 (Note: This event has been cancelled)

Meet Betsy Connors, an artist and researcher who worked in photography and holography at Polaroid.

Betsy Connors started her career working in video and photography, including large format Polaroids, before discovering holography. An MIT Media Lab alumna and former lecturer in the Spatial Imaging Group, Connors also worked at Polaroid in the holography research group before founding her own company, ACME Holography. She has created commercial, research, and educational holograms for corporations and science museums throughout the US and locally for the Museum of Science. She has also received grants and fellowships for her holography art works which have been exhibited internationally including installations at the Holo-Center in NYC, locally at the Peabody Essex and MIT Museums, and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund Clinic. Betsy will join us as part of Girls Day.

April 11 (Note: This event has been cancelled)

Meet Lou Jones, one of the artists featured in The Polaroid Project.

Lou Jones' eclectic career as a photographer has evolved from commercial to the personal. It has spanned every format, film type, artistic movement and technological change. He maintains a studio in Boston, Massachusetts and has photographed for Fortune 500 corporations, international companies and local small businesses including Federal Express, Nike and the Barr Foundation; completed assignments for magazines and publishers all over the world such as Time/Life, National Geographic and Paris Match; initiated long term projects on the civil wars in Central America, death row, Olympics Games and pregnancy; and published multiple books.

May 9 (Note: This event has been cancelled)

Meet Jesseca Ferguson, an artist and teacher in Boston, and one of the artists featured in The Polaroid Project.

Jesseca Ferguson is a Boston-based artist and educator. Her work combines 19th century handmade photo processes, collage, and artist books. After many years working with pinhole cameras, often incorporating Polaroid materials, she now explores cameraless photography and prints found imagery on specially chosen papers, such as antiquarian book pages. Her images and collaged photo-objects have been widely collected and published in the US and Europe. She has taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston, MA since the late 1980s

June 13

Tour The Polaroid Project, with curator Gary Van Zante,

Enjoy a tour with Gary Van Zante, Curator, Architecture and Design for the MIT Museum, and co-curator of The Polaroid Project.