Photography: A Cultural History (3rd Edition)

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9780205708000: Photography: A Cultural History (3rd Edition)

For one or two semester courses in the History of Photography.

 

Mary Warner Marien has constructed a richer and more kaleidoscopic account of the history of photography than has previously been available. Her comprehensive survey shows compellingly how photography has sharpened, if not altered forever, our perception of the world.

 

The book was written to introduce students to photography. It does not require that students possess any technical know-how and can be taught without referring to techniques in photography. Incorporating the latest research and international uses of photography, the text surveys the history of photography in such a way that students can gauge the medium's long-term multifold developments and see the historical and intellectual contexts in which photographers lived and worked. It also provides a unique focus on contemporary photo-based work and electronic media.

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From the Back Cover:

The third edition of this groundbreaking survey of international photography has not only been expanded and brought up to date but restructured to offer readers even greater clarity and ease of use. It now comprises 14 shorter chapters each with an introduction and brief summary. Chapters are grouped into six Parts which begin with an introduction to the time period.

            Photography is examined through the lenses of art, science, social sciences, travel, war, fashion, the mass media, and individual practitioners. These broad topics complement a fully developed cultural context whose emphasis is more key ideas than individuals. The author has further enriched the third edition with the findings of the most recent research and exhibitions. These include fresh insights into Victorian photography’s relationship to painting and to the expansion of the British Empire, as well as photography’s involvement in German and Russian experimental art movements between the World Wars. The author also draws on publications that show the extent to which vernacular photography existed alongside art and commercial practice. ‘Focus’ boxes highlight interesting cultural or controversial issues, for example ‘Film and Photography’, ‘Photomontage or Photocollage’, and ‘Making an Icon of Revolution’. In the revised final chapter, the author pays close attention to the impact of digital photography on photographic history and contemporary practice, particularly the ease and frequency with which people worldwide use digital cameras and camera phones.

            In addition to representing the canon of Europe and the United States, the book presents work from Latin America, Africa, India, Russia, China, and Japan. ‘Portrait’ boxes feature certain photographers in greater detail and new to this edition are works by contemporary artists including Vik Muniz, Suzanne Opton, Tyler Hicks, Walid Raad, Anthony Goicolea, and Jean-Luc Mylayne.

About the Author:

Mary Warner Marien is a professor in the Department of Fine Arts at Syracuse University New York where she teaches courses on photographic history as well as on art criticism and its history. In 2008 she won an Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writer award for her continuing work on the history and theory of documentary photography and is the author of 'Photography and its Critics' (Cambridge University Press, 1997) as well as numerous articles on the history of photography.

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