Photography : A Cultural History

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-01-01
  • Publisher: Pearson College Div
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $86.40


For one or two semester courses in History of Photography. Incorporating the latest research and international uses of photography, this text surveys the history of photography in such a way that students can gauge the medium's long-term multifold developments and see the historical and intellectual contexts in which photographers lived and worked. It also provides a unique focus on contemporary photo-based work and electronic media.

Table of Contents

The Origins of Photography (to 1839)
Before Photography
The Invention of “Photographies”
Responses to the Announcement of the Daguerreotype
The Politics of Invention
Focus: The Stranger
Philosophy and Practice: Nature's Automatic Writing
The Second Invention of Photography (1839-1854)
The Second Invention
Focus: Iron, Glass, and Photography
Photography and the Sciences
Focus: Photography, Race, and Slavery
Recording Events with the Camera
War and Photography
Focus: The Mexican-American War
Expeditionary and Travel Photography
Portaiture and the Camera
Focus: The First Police Pictures?
Photography and Fiction
Philosophy and Practice: A Threat to Art?
The Expanding Domain (1855-1880)
The Stereograph
War and Photography
Focus: The Valley of Death
Portrait: Mathew Brady
Portrait: Alexander Gardner
Topographical Surveys and Photography
Focus: The Abyssinian Campaign, or the Magdala Expedition
Photography and Science
Photography and the Social Sciences
Popularizing Ethnic and Economic Types
Art and Photography
Portrait: Julia Margaret Cameron
Women Behind the Camera
Focus: Lewis Carroll's Photographs of Children
Philosophy and Practice: “Superseded by Reality”
Photography in the Modern Age (1880-1918)
The Challenge for Art Photography
Portrait: Alfred Stieglitz
Portrait: Edward Steichen
Portrait: Gertrude Käsebier
Photography and the Modern City
Portrait: Jacob Riis
Science and Photography
Focus: Photography and Futurism
Focus: Worker Efficiency: The Gilbreth's Time and Motion Studies
Photography, Social Science, and Exploration
Focus: The National Geographic
War and Photography
Philosophy and Practice: The Real Thing
A New Vision (1919-1945)
Revolutionary Art: The Soviet Photograph
Focus: Photomontage or Photocollage
Dada and After
Surrealist Photography
Focus: Film and Photography
Experimental Photography and Advertising
California Modern
Social Science, Social Change, and the Camera
Portrait: Margaret Bourke-White
Portrait: August Sander
Popular Science
World War II
Philosophy and Practice: The “Common Man” and the End of Media Utopia
Through the Lens of Culture (1945-75)
The Family of Man
Cultural Realitivism and Cultural Resistance
Focus: Making an Icon of Revolution
Portrait: Manuel Álvarez Bravo
Portrait: Shomei Tomatsu
Focus: Photographing the Atomic Bomb
The West and the Cold War
Annihilation, Alienation, Abstraction: America
Technology and Media in Postwar America
Photography in Art
Philosophy and Practice
Photography “Born Whole”
Convergences (1975-2000)
The Predicaments of Social Concern
Portrait: Sabastãio Salgado
Neutral Vision
Focus: The Cambodian Genocide Photographic Database
The Look of Politics
The Postmodern Era
Focus: Culture Wars
Family Pictures
Focus: Looking at Children
Nature and the Body Politic
Philosophy and Practice: The Passing of the Postmodern
Epilogue: On Beauty, Science, and Nature
Everything Old Is New Again
Literary Credits
Picture Credits
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


Although I have been captivated by photography since childhood, the thought that I might teach and write about a subject that was a fervent personal interest of mine never occurred to me until 1984. In that year, Professor David Tatham, then Chair of the Fine Arts Department at Syracuse University, persuaded me to try a one-semester course. I have been teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in the history of photography and writing about the subject ever since. Despite the impressive increase in college photography courses during the last decades of the twentieth century, autodidacts such as myself make up the bulk of photohistorians. Like many others, I became a photographic historian in my parents' living room, while looking at copies ofLifemagazine. As a group, we revel in our passionate preferences. If I thought I could get away with it, I would have filled this book with my favorite pictures, such as those that French photographer Robert Doisneau made of Paris in the 1950s and 1960s. I have not yet found a way to show Doisneau's work in my undergraduate survey, nor have I included him here, even though, in a portrait pinned above my desk, a broadly grinning Doisneau points directly at me, prompting me to keep on trying. In writing this book, I have tried to survey photography's history in such a way that readers can gauge the medium's manifold developments, and appreciate the historical and cultural contexts in which photographers lived and worked. Some readers may long for a comprehensive taxonomy of-photography, a unified field with movements and ideas carefully delineated like kingdoms, phyla, orders, and species. Indeed, this sort of categorization is a practical if sometimes blunt instrument with which to create order and highlight dominant ideas and visual approaches. Yet it is crucial to remember that people living in a particular era do not synchronize their thoughts. They interpret, refine, resist, oppose, or ignore the prevalent attitudes of their time. Years of teaching have brought home to me the dangers of homogenizing subtly distinctive viewpoints or creating periods so watertight that they leave no residue in the next chapter. The Victorians did not simultaneously pull out their pocket watches on the stroke of New Year's Eve and agree that the epoch of heroic landscape photography in the American West should end promptly then and there. My students have taught me that, contrary to conventional wisdom, they do not dislike history, but are instead hungry for it. Consequently, I have tried to sketch the political and economic events, such as wars and depressions, that shaped the circumstances in which photography was practiced, while paying special attention to the particular ideas generated by and about photography in each period. The Focus boxes in this book contain much of this material. The short history of photography gives it a special excitement, and it is still possible to discover historically significant images at tag sales and regional museums. In the last few decades, the scope of photographic history has widened to encompass fresh materials and new analytic tools that promise the emergence of a vital interdisciplinary field. Although photography is a Western discovery, students are rightly curious about its manifestations in the wider world. To serve that interest, I have both incorporated recent research into non-Western photographers and Western visions of the non-Western world as they were directed towards science, anthropology, journalism, and art. Yet I am mindful that comprehensive histories of photography in India and China, those countries that make up more than one-third of the world's population, have yet to be written. Moreover, the photographic archives of business and industry have scarcely been mined, and the history of advertising photography, which has shaped the modern experience internationally, remains mostly unwritten. Influent

Rewards Program

Write a Review