The Printed Picture

Overview

The Printed Picture traces the changing technology of picture-making from the Renaissance to the present, focusing on the vital role of images in multiple copies. The book surveys printing techniques before the invention of photography; the photographic processes that began to appear in the early nineteenth century; the marriage of printing and photography; and the rapidly evolving digital inventions of our time. From woodblocks to chromolithographs, from engravings to bar codes, from daguerreotypes to ...
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Overview

The Printed Picture traces the changing technology of picture-making from the Renaissance to the present, focusing on the vital role of images in multiple copies. The book surveys printing techniques before the invention of photography; the photographic processes that began to appear in the early nineteenth century; the marriage of printing and photography; and the rapidly evolving digital inventions of our time. From woodblocks to chromolithographs, from engravings to bar codes, from daguerreotypes to contemporary color photographs, the book succinctly examines the full range of pictorial processes. Exploring how pictures look by describing how they are made, author Richard Benson reaches fascinating and original conclusions about what pictures can mean.
Although many of the techniques he discusses have been used to create exceptional works of art, Benson concentrates on the typical, everyday pictures that have played and continue to play such a prominent role in our lives. In conjunction with the publication of the book, an educational installation of this material will be presented in the photography galleries at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in the fall of 2008.
Presented as a series of one-page essays opposite the pictures they examine, the book retains the lively, engaging style of the informal lectures through which Benson developed his ideas over the course of 30 years at Yale University. Rooted in hands-on descriptions of practical techniques, The Printed Picture offers a rich and imaginative interpretation of the enormous cultural and social influence of multiple images.
Richard Benson is a MacArthur Fellow and the former Dean of the Yale School of Art. A photographer, printer and collector, he has devoted a considerable part of his career to research in photomechanical reproduction. As a printer Benson was instrumental in developing the technologies presently used in the industry to reproduce photographs in ink. He has taught many workshops and given many lectures on photography, printing and their associated technologies. He is the co-author of Lay This Laurel (Eakins Press) with Lincoln Kirstein and A Maritime Album (The Mariner's Museum of Newport News, Virginia) with John Szarkowski. His photographic work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, The Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven and many other institutions and private collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870707216
  • Publisher: The Museum of Modern Art
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 8.18 (w) x 10.86 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Benson, Dean of the Yale University School of Art for the last five years, and a professor of photography there for the last 20, is an internationally renowned expert on photographic printing. He has won MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, grants from the NEA, and many other awards. He has printed numerous distinguished photography books, including such classics as The Works of Atget, Lee Friedlander's The American Monument, and Irving Penn's Passage.

Richard Benson has worked as a photographer, printer and teacher since the nineteen sixties. He was the Dean of Yale University's School of Art for ten years from 1996-2006. He currently resides, with his wife Barbara, in Newport, Rhode Island.

Benson's photographic work has centered on landscapes and urban scenes, and he worked for many years with an 8x10 camera, and printed the pictures in silver, platinum or ink. He photographed extensively in Newport, Rhode Island, and Puerto Rico and, in the nineteen seventies, specialized in the photography of sculpture. His photographic work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, The Yale University Art Gallery and many other institutions and private collections. He presently photographs with a digital camera and prints his pictures using ink jet printers of various types.

As a printer Benson was instrumental in developing the technologies presently used in the industry to reproduce photographs in ink. He worked for many years in the book trades, producing halftone negatives and overseeing the presswork for such publications as The Work of Artget, in 4 volumes (Museum of Modern Art), The Face of Lincoln (VikingPress), numerous books of the work of Lee Friedlander, and many other publications for various authors and publishers. Benson also did the halftone work and printed the plates for Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company (White Oak Press), a large limited edition book with 200 reproductions done in as many as 9 individual colors each. He also has printed photographically for Paul Strand, Walker Evans and numerous other photographers.

He has taught many workshops and given many lectures on photography, printing and their associated technologies. Benson became an assistant professor at Yale University in 1979, and taught there on a part-time basis as an adjunct professor until 1986, when he received tenure and became Dean of the School of Art. He has a high school diploma, served three years in the US Navy, and has a Masters Degree from Yale.

Richard Benson has received 2 National Endowment for the Arts publication grants, 2 Guggenheim Fellowships and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He is the co-author of Lay This Laurel (Eakins Press) with Lincoln Kirstein, and A Maritime Album (The Mariner's Museum of Newport News, Virginia) with John Szarkowski. He also is the author of A Yale Album (Yale University Press), a book of historical photographs celebrating Yale's Tercentennial.

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