- What’s On
The Royal Asiatic Society and Cornucopia are pleased to invite you to a lecture by Professor Robert Ousterhout on the mythical city of Palmyra through the lens of John Henry Haynes, an all but forgotten 19th-century photographer.
Blessed with epic ruins and a legendary status, the ancient desert city of Palmyra has attracted European adventurers and scholars since the 17th century. In April 1885, members of the Wolfe Expedition, an American venture, stopped at Palmyra as they journeyed home from Mesopotamia. Astounded by the spectacle, they spent five days camped amid the ruins, copying inscriptions while their photographer, John Henry Haynes, documented the monuments with dozens of arresting images. Most of them are now published for the first time. Recent events have taken a devastating toll on the monuments of Palmyra, making Haynes’s photographs all the more important and poignant.
Refreshments will be provided. The talk will be followed by a book signing for Palmyra 1885 and the revised 2nd edition of John Henry Haynes: A Photographer and Archaeologist in the Ottoman Empire 1881–1900.
As a sequel to this event, the much-loved Chelsea bookshop John Sandoe Books will host a conversation between Ousterhout and Charlotte Roueché, Professor Emeritus of Digital Hellenic Studies at King’s College, London, on Thursday, March 30 (6.30–8pm). This is the first such Cornucopia conversation in London, and we hope the first of many.