California Dreamin': Camera Clubs and the Pictorial Photography Tradition

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Boston University Art Gallery, 2004 - Photography - 122 pages
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Pictorial photography in the United States has been revived as a serious area of inquiry in recent decades, surviving the mid-century denigration it received as the photography establishment embraced a more modernist, "straight" photography, yet it is still under-examined. California Dreamin' uncovers the very active, yet relatively overlooked tradition of pictorial photography practiced in the context of camera clubs in California during the first half of the twentieth century. It gives Pictorialism, and specifically the West Coast Pictorial tradition, thoughtful attention, bringing together the work of well-known photographers who have secured a place in the photography canon - including Ansel Adams, Anne Brigman, and Edward Weston - with the work of
still lesser known photographers - such as William E. Dassonville, Will Connell, Arthur F. Kales, William Mortensen, and Karl Struss. This book also includes relatively unknown photographers such as Fred Archer, Louis Fleckenstein, Louis Goetz, and Kaye Shimojima, who were nevertheless quite active as Pictorial photographers on the West Coast in the early twentieth century. The broad selection of images discussed, many of which have never been reproduced before, showcases the work of over forty photographers and attests to the visual power, complexity, and breadth of photography created in the camera clubs.

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About the author (2004)

is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History at Boston University.

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