American Photography: A Century of Images

Front Cover
Chronicle Books, 1999 - Photography - 232 pages
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On V.J. Day in Times Square, a sailor kissing a pretty girl he's never met before is caught in the act. Newly arrived European immigrants at Ellis Island gaze at the camera with a mix of apprehension and hope. A groundbreaking still life artfully eroticizes the curves and shadows of a twisted bell pepper. These are a few of the more than 150 photographs collected in American Photography that document a century of our national experience. Whether viewed as a purely artistic medium, a tool for influencing public opinion, or a recorder of events both public and personal, photography has been a powerful and intimate vehicle for communicating our values and our dreams. Focusing on one or more images for each year, this companion book to the PBS series considers some of the century's best-known photographs as well as everyday snapshots, examining the diverse roles photography has played in shaping our lives. From the one-dollar Brownie snapshot of a baby in 1900 to the awesome potential of computer-enhanced images at the brink of the millennium, American Photography covers a range of styles, formats, and subjects as diverse as the nation they sprang from. Richly detailed, authoritative, and abundantly illustrated, American Photography is a landmark look at the pictures we have taken, and where they have taken us.
 

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American photography: a century of images

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This companion volume to last fall's marvelous PBS series contends that the still photograph has played a strong role not only in capturing our history but in shaping it. Ranging from Weegee to Warhol ... Read full review

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User Review  - magst - LibraryThing

This book has some amazing photos and I really enjoyed reading the history of the photograph. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
8
The Developing Image 19001934
13
The Snapshot Revolution
15
2i Photography as Fine
21
Foreign Peoples Foreign Places
33
Science and Photography
37
Social Reform The Camera as Weapon
41
Motion Study and Social Control
50
Sex and Voyeurism
134
A Heartwarming Vision for the Cold War World
139
The Americans and the Dark Side of the 1950s
147
Photography Transformed 19601999
151
Pop Art Photography and the Mass Media
153
Surveillance and the Photograph as Evidence
159
Photography and Social Awareness
164
Changing Times Changing Images
168

Photographing the News
54
The Camera Goes to
60
Advertising Photography
67
The Cult of Celebrity
77
The Photographic Age 19351959
87
LtFE and the Rise of the Picture Magazines
89
The Wire Services
96
Documenting the Depression
99
MoMA 1937 The History of Photography Comes to the Museum
104
Censorship and Revelation
109
The Photographic Instant and Instant Photography
122
Fashion Photography
127
Shooting
173
The Ideal and the AIItooReal
186
Photography and the Environment
197
The New Ethnic Self Representation
209
Postmodern Photography
216
The Digital Revolution
223
Notes
228
Bibliography
230
Acknowledgments
231
Index
232
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About the author (1999)

Vicki Goldberg is a photography critic for the New York Times, a Harry Frank Guggen- heim Foundation fellow, and the author of several books, including The Power of Photography: How Photographs Changed Our Lives.

Robert Silberman is associate professor of Art History and director of Film Studies at the University of Minnesota. He writes frequently on photography, film, and contemporary art for Afterimage and other publications.

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