Since its invention more than a century and a half ago, photography has become an important vehicle for communication and expression. Whether made for personal, commercial, or artistic purposesand these categories are not mutually exclusivephotographic images surround us. Nevertheless, as the works in this volume demonstrate, photographs maintain their capacity to stir our imagination by their beauty, their strangeness, their apparent objectivity, and their exceptional power to evoke a time, or a place, or a mood. Selected from a museum collection that surveys the history of the medium, The ENduring Illusion: Photographs from the Stanford University Museum of Art celebrates the ingenuity of artists who, by manipulating a technical device and a chemical process, create wonderful, varied, and compelling objects.
One hundred photographs, selected form a collection of over 3,000 challenge the viewer to consider the different strategies photographers employ to transform into art what is seen through the lens. An effort has been made to include alongside well-known images many intriguing, but less familiar works.