Jacob A. Riis (1849-1914) and Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) were Danes of the same generation who took up the challenge of modernity in radically different ways. Riis left Denmark for America to become the nation’s leading advocate for the urban poor; he was a media-savvy journalist who used

words and pictures to make a compelling case for reform. Hammershøi, by contrast, was a Copenhagen-based aesthete whose mysterious paintings of domestic interiors suggested the psychological experience of modern life. Scholars Thor J. Mednick and Bonnie Yochelson discuss these two commentators on modernity and their very different approaches, with moderator Ambassador Anne Dorte Riggelson.

About Dr. Thor J. Mednick

Dr. Thor J. Mednick, former Fellow of the ASF and the Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. Foundation, is Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Toledo. A recognized scholar of 19th century art and an expert on turn-of-the-century art in Denmark, he has published on Peder Severin Krøyer,

the artists’ colony in Skagen, and Vilhelm Hammershøi. His latest book, The Symbolist Roots ofModern Art (Ashgate Publishing, 2015), was co-edited with Dr. Michelle Facos.

About Dr. Bonnie Yochelson

Dr. Bonnie Yochelson is guest curator of the exhibition Jacob A. Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half and author of the book by the same name (Yale University Press, 2015), which is a complete catalogue of Riis’ photographs. An independent scholar and former Curator of Prints and

Photographs at the Museum of the City of New York, she specializes in New York photography, and has written books on Berenice Abbott, Alfred Stieglitz, and previously on Riis. Yochelson teaches in the M.F.A. Department of Photography, Video, and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts, New York City.

About Ambassador Anne Dorte Riggelson



Jacob A. Riis, Lodgers in Bayard Street Tenement, Five Cents a Spot, 1889 Vilhelm Hammershøi, Interior in Strandgade, Sunlight on the Floor, 1901. Statens Museum for Kunst

MON – 11-16-2015 – 6:30 PM
$16 ($12 Seniors & Students with a valid ID)
Free for ASF, AFSMK & MCNY Members
Location: the Museum of the City of New York

Co-presented by the Museum of the City of New York