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Photography and its Critics: A Cultural History, 1839-1900

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Overview

Photography and Its Critics offers an original overview of nineteenth-century American and European writing about photography from such disparate fields as art theory, social reform, and physiology. The earliest criticism of the invention was informed by an ample legacy of notions about objectivity, appearances, and copying. Received ideas about neutral vision, intuitive genius, and progress in art also shaped nineteenth-century understanding of photography. In this study, Mary Warner Marien argues that photography was an important social and cultural symbol for modernity and change in several fields, such as art and social reform. Moreover, she demonstrates how photography quickly emerged as a pliant symbol for modernity and change, one that could as easily oppose progress as promote democracy.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...the realization of a brilliant cultural history of photography in the nineteenth century." Mark B. Pohlad

"...look forward to reading as it is not stuffy or academic at all, but well written, easy to read and full of information presented in a new way." The Picture Professional

"marien's book is rich in its materials, both primary and secondary....The effect in general is of a branch of cultural history being thought through--...expounding on how nineteenth-century photographs of different kinds presented themselves. This...the field sorely needs." Mark Roskill, Visual Resources

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781107403383
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2011
  • Series: Perspectives on Photography Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface: Photography Is the Modern World
1 The Origins of Photographic Discourse 1
2 Photography and the Modern in Nineteenth-Century Thought 47
3 Art, Photography, and Society 84
4 Forced to Be Free: Photography, Literacy, and Mass Culture 112
5 The Lure of Modernity 141
Epilogue: Ghosts - Photography and the Modern 169
Notes 173
Bibliographic Survey 213
Index 219
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