Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThe aesthetic, technological and social dimensions of 160 years of photography are traced and analyzed in 41 essays by 29 experts, along with a thousand (yes, a thousand) reproduced photographs, in this attractive volume. ThisNew History is the English translation of the French Nouvelle Histoire de la Photographie (1994): it is at once an expansive (and well-indexed) encyclopedia, an anthology of essays, an archive of photographs and an all-round gorgeous production. Frizot (a professor at the ecole de Louvre in Paris) and his company of authorities begin before the beginning, with the silhouette-machines and heliographs that foreshadowed the 1839 debut of the daguerreotype. They end in the present, with essays on "Philosophy and Photography," "Photographs as Memories" and the contemporary roles and meanings of art-photography. Where previous reference works have been merely art history, this one includes the evolving and various functions of photographs, inside and outside the arts: physicists, biologists, anthropologists, 19th-century racists, 20th-century social crusaders, war correspondents and amateurs seeking mementos of friends and family are all covered here. Frizot focuses on France, but his contributors cover the globe; essays address such English Victorians as Julia Cameron and Lewis Carroll; North and South American documentarians such as Walker Evans and Sebastiao Salgado; and the story of photography in Japan. Entire portfolios--notably W. Eugene Smith's "Pittsburgh"--are included, a device that lends further depth to this enormous, and enormously enlightening, exploration of "the fragile product of a black box pointed more or less in the right direction."
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New History of Photography based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
700 pages, profusely illustrated, a real bargain. The book comprises essays by an international group of photo historians. It covers much more ground than than a linear treatment of photo history could hope to accomplish. Art, fashion, jounalism, the snapshot album, and photography from select contries (e.g.,Czeck Republic, Japan) are all treated, as are all historical periods from the invention of photo to the present. Thoughout the book there are insets on various topics that are particularly helpful to those without a previous knowlege of photography or who want to browse the book without reading all the essays.