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Photography in Nineteenth Century America 1839-1900 Paperback – November, 1991

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0883600672 ISBN-10: 0883600676 Edition: First edition, paperback issue

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Amherst College museum director Sandweiss offers an original, comprehensive and visually satisfying study of how photography, as a developing art and science, influenced and reflected American social history. Daguerreotypes of loved ones, celebrities and California gold rush scenes dazzled home folks in the 1840s. Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, Timothy O'Sullivan and other experts in the later wet-plate process published gripping views of Civil War battlefields, then documented for an eager public the scenic wonders, railroad building, cowboys, settlers and Indians of America's westward march. Rich in detail (Broadway photographer Napoleon Sarony used a "posing machine" to manipulate his subject's head, arms and torso), six vivid essays analyze with a fresh viewpoint photography's evolution from mammoth-plate scenics to snapshot cameras. More than 200 superbly reproduced photographs illustrate the text.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This substantial contribution to the history of photography accompanies a traveling exhibition at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Images borrowed from 52 institutions and a number of private collections are well reproduced here and arranged in roughly chronological order. The introduction and six essays are well documented and cover both new and familiar topics from the fresh perspective of 19th-century American cultural history: Alan Trachtenberg on the impact of the daguerreotype; Barbara McCandless on studio portraiture and the celebrity photograph; editor Sandweiss on the photographic documentation of the American West; Keith Davis on photography's military and technical applications during the American Civil War; Peter Bacon Hale on the documentation of cities and landscapes; and Sarah Greenough on the late 19th century emergence of amateur and artistic photography. Highly recommended.
- Kathleen Collins, Great Barrington, Mass.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Amon Carter Museum; First edition, paperback issue edition (November 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0883600676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0883600672
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,416,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By sjm on July 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone interested in 19th Century photography and photographers will find lots to chew on here. As a collector of 19th century photographs, I thought I knew a lot about the subject. The essays here helped put much of that in a larger perspective: the rise of photography as an art form, the business end of being a photographer in the 19th century, and the effect of amateur photography on that business.

Favorite quote, from a Utah photographer in 1894: "Nearly everybody is becoming a photographer. Business is changing to developing and finishing views for amateurs. Most of the magazines now published are illustrated by photo engravings - the demand for views is gradually falling off."

Any professional photographer reflecting on the change from darkroom to digital will recognize that sentiment.
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