The Art History Newsletter

Photography Category Archives

Paris Between the Wars 1919-1939: Art, Life and Culture.

4 May 2012 | Books, Modern, Photography

Book Review: Bouvet, Vincent and Gérard Durozoi. Paris Between the Wars 1919-1939: Art, Life and Culture. Trans. Ruth Sharman. New York: Vendome Press. Print. 2010. Art is neither created nor viewed in a vacuum. It is this notion perhaps that helped to inspire Vincent Bouvet and Gérard Durozoi in the organization of their recent book [...]


Snapped Shut

26 April 2012 | Modern, Photography

The term “snapshot” predates the invention of photography. From 1808, the term has meant “a quick or hurried shot taken without deliberate aim, esp. one at a rising bird or quickly moving animal.” It is strange to think that this hunting term for a spontaneous and haphazard reaction would ever be associated with the Nabis [...]


Curating CAA

20 March 2012 | CAA2012, Conferences, Modern, Photography

As I headed out to Los Angeles from New York last month, a remark by Mary Anne Staniszewski kept coming back to me. I spent a stimulating evening last winter at a small alternative art space on Ludlow Street listening to her, Martin Beck, and Ken Saylor talk about the practice of putting together exhibitions [...]


College Art Association Conference: Mid-conference report

24 February 2012 | CAA2012, Career, Conferences, Photography, Teaching, Theory

The Los Angeles Convention Center is massive. Despite its girth, the College Art Association 2012 Conference occupies about one third of the center. There is no shortage of simultaneous interesting sessions, forcing attendees to choose carefully. The sessions I’ve visited thus far have been largely interesting, with some presenters generating more enthusiasm than others. “Deconstructing [...]


Book Review: Man Ray, African Art, and the Modernist Lens.

11 January 2012 | Africa, Books, Modern, Photography

Wendy A. Grossman. Man Ray, African Art, and the Modernist Lens. Washington DC: International Art and Artists, 2009. 184 pp.; 23 color ills.; 259 b/w. $39.95   Wendy A. Grossman’s thoroughly researched and lucidly written exhibition catalog Man Ray, African Art, and the Modernist Lens effectively reveals the process “by which African objects, formerly considered [...]


Stein and Picasso

26 July 2011 | Modern, Museums, Photography, Teaching

The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde San Francisco Museum of Modern Art May 21-September 6   Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco May 12-September 6   Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris De Young Museum, San Francisco June 11 – October 9   What is an [...]


An embarassment of photojournalists?

29 April 2011 | Photography

A writer for the French blog Niouzesetweberies writes: Fabienne Cherisma is a fifteen-year-old Haitian adolescent. She escaped the tragic earthquake. But Fabienne happened to be among the ruins when she received three bullets to the head from Haitian police trying to disperse looters. This photo by Paul Hansen won best photo of the year in [...]


Photography’s Expanded Field

3 December 2010 | Photography

In a recent issue of History of Photography (August 2010), Jan Baetens reviews Photography and Literature by François Brunet: An Americanist in Paris, François Brunet combines the best of both worlds. It is indeed extremely rare to discover a book that has such a profound knowledge of the Continental as well as the Anglo-Saxon traditions [...]


In the papers

14 October 2010 | Baroque/Neoclassical, Books, Modern, Photography, Renaissance

Recently in the papers: In the Economist, reviews of Eadweard Muybridge at the Tate, and Bronzino at the Palazzo Strossi. In the FT, Jackie Wullschlager on four books on Caravaggio (Strinati, Fried, Graham-Dixon, Schütze). At the NYRBlog, a teaser of Willibald Sauerländer’s article on Franz Xaver Messerschmidt. In the Guardian, Rosemary Hill on the pre-Raphaelites [...]


In the papers

4 September 2010 | Ancient, Baroque/Neoclassical, Books, Modern, Museums, Photography

Recently in the papers: “Art and its mediums,” a set of links from Bookforum Alex Danchev reviews Michael Fried, The Moment of Caravaggio (THE) Jeffrey Hamburger and Anthony Grafton, “Save the Warburg Library!” (NYRB) Rebecca Solnit and Peter Conrad on Eadweard Muybridge at Tate Britain (The Guardian) Tom L. Freudenheim on German Master Drawings at [...]


‘Is Photography Over?’

14 May 2010 | Conferences, Photography

As a San Francisco Chronicle article noted, the SFMOMA recently hosted a symposium, “Is Photography Over?” Refreshingly, its website published the panelists’ statements and created a forum to extend the conversation and draw in more voices (W.J.T. Mitchell wrote, “I am a little grumpy about the premise of this symposium.”) In the Chronicle, critic Kenneth [...]


Bancroft Prize for Lange Book

26 March 2010 | Awards, Books, Photography

Historian Linda Gordon has been awarded a Bancroft Prize (her second) for her book on the photographer Dorothea Lange, Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits. The prize is “awarded annually by the trustees of Columbia [University] to the authors of books of exceptional merit in the fields of American history, biography and diplomacy.” In this [...]


Obit: Roy DeCarava

29 October 2009 | Contemporary, Photography

From The New York Times: Roy DeCarava, the child of a single mother in Harlem who turned that neighborhood into his canvas and became one of the most important photographers of his generation by chronicling its people and its jazz giants, has died. He was 89. His death was announced by Sherry Turner DeCarava, his [...]


Of Lust and Lynching

27 October 2009 | Photography

Two recent posts by French photo historian André Gunthert have generated considerable discussion. In one post, Gunthert discusses elites who protest that one of their own is being “lynched,” an expression whose power lies in part in its ability to evoke a potent image, an expression that is also too easily abused. In the other [...]


‘Ruin Porn’

30 September 2009 | Photography

Thomas Morton recently wrote for Vice: … Detroit is being descended on by a plague of reporters … The interest in coverage is legitimate … [but they all] write the same story as everyone else. The photographers are the worst. Basically the only thing they’re interested in shooting is ruin porn. On The Media‘s Bob [...]


‘Why Photography Matters’

28 May 2009 | Books, Contemporary, Photography

In, Matthew Biro considers a new book by Michael Fried: Two related projects are combined in Michael Fried’s well-observed, conceptually ambitious, and beautifully written new book, Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before. First, the text presents a formal and theoretical justification of tableau photography since the late 1970s … Second, Fried puts [...]


Dissecting Dissectors

24 April 2009 | Books, Photography

In Slate, Barron H. Lerner reviews Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine, 1880-1930: The photographs in the remarkable new book Dissection shocked me, even though I spent a year in anatomy class during medical school. Dissection includes dozens of images of late-19th- and early-20th-century medical students posing, often in comedic manners, [...]


An “unbearable photo”

14 January 2009 | Photography

André Gunthert discusses Gaza images on his blog: Scandalized by the Jan. 7 issue of L’Humanité, Alain Korkos, columnist for Arrêt sur images, published an “Open Letter to Pierre Laurent“, in which he condemned the usage of this “unbearable photo,” which shows a dead child buried in rubble in the Gaza Strip (taken by Fadi [...]


Image Management, 2008

26 November 2008 | Photography

Just as Sarah Palin’s fashion was hamfistedly spruced up by individuals hoping to help her fit in on the national stage, so a French minister’s image was recently edited by a sympathetic newspaper worried she might stand out in the wrong way. Or was it? André Gunthert writes in Actualités de la Recherche en histoire [...]


Photographing Barack Obama

10 November 2008 | Photography

An article in Le Temps recounts the controversy that ensued in 1994 when Time darkened a photograph of O.J. Simpson for its cover. Then it writes: Fourteen years later, it’s impossible not to notice how scrupulous such magazines have been to present Barack Obama favorably, taking care to neither darken nor lighten overmuch the skin [...]