Disappearing Witness: Change in Twentieth-Century American Photography / Edition 1 available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- Johns Hopkins University Press
American photographers documented and defined the twentieth century in a remarkable array of images, the style and content of which evolved dramatically over the course of the century. In Disappearing Witness, photographer and art historian Gretchen Garner chronicles this transformation, from the introduction of the 35-millimeter camera in the 1920s to the digital photography of today. Accompanied by over 125 key works in the history of photographyfine-art, documentary, and editorialher thoughtful and enlightening discussion traces American photography's aesthetic, commercial, and technological changes, as the medium's primary role of spontaneous witness gradually gave way to contrived arrangement and artistic invention.
Garner discusses direct witness as the dominant paradigm for American photographers from the 1920s to the 1960s. During these decades, photographers saw their medium primarily as a vehicle for truthful description and sometimes as a weapon against social injustice. In the 1960s, however, photographic practice and its cultural significance shifted to reflect more personal, idiosyncratic, and staged visions of realitya trend, Garner notes, that has intensified with digital photography. The major portion of the book is devoted to post-1960s work, exploring how the changes have affected portraiture, documentary, landscape, still life, fashion, and the new genre of self-imagery. In documenting this transformation in American photography, Disappearing Witness forcefully rethinks the history of photography itself.
|Publisher:||Johns Hopkins University Press|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.37(d)|
About the Author
Gretchen Garner is a photographer and independent scholar. She has taught photography and history of photography at Michigan's Grand Valley State University and at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, served as editor of Exposure and as photography editor of the New Art Examiner, and has curated exhibitions at museums in Minnesota and Michigan. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
PART I Photography of Witness
ONE Being There: Spontaneous Witness
TWO Speed and the Machine
THREE Fine-Art Photography, Redefined
FIVE The Magazines
SIX Spirit in PhotographyPART II Disappearing Witness
SEVEN New Paradigms: Uelsmann, Michals, and Samaras
EIGHT Documentary-Style and Street Photography
NINE Photography about Photography: The Academy and the Art World
TEN New Landscapes, New Portraits: The Seventies and Eighties
ELEVEN The Subject Self
TWELVE Arrangement, Invention, and Appropriation
THIRTEEN Digitized PhotographyConclusionNotes
What People are Saying About This
Clearly written, and illustrated with well-chosen images, Disappearing Witness describes the significant paradigm shift in photography over the course of the twentieth century, namely the move from direct observation of the world through the lens to a more critical relationship between the act of photographic observation and picture-making. Gretchen Garner's unusual and welcome premise is well-reasoned and persuasive.