American Photography (Oxford History of Art)

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9780192842718: American Photography (Oxford History of Art)

150 years of American photography come alive in this exciting new book, placing it in its cultural context for the first time. Orvell examines this fascinating subject through a wide range of well known and less-well known images. He ranges from portraiture and landscape photography, family albums and memory, and analyses the particularly 'American' way in which American photographers have viewed the world around them.

Orvell combines a clear overview of the changing nature of photographic thinking and practice in this period with an exploration of key concepts. The result is the first coherent history of American photography, which examines issues such as the nature of photographic exploitation, experimental techniques, the power of the photograph to shock, and whether we should subscribe to the notion of a visual history.

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About the Author:


Miles Orvell is Professor of English and American Studies, with a broad interest in modern American culture, at Temple University. His other publications include 'The Real Thing: Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture 1880-1940', which was co-winner of the American Studies Association's John Hope Franklin Prize, and his essays and reviews have appeared in many journals, such as American Art and History of Photography. He is also the Senior Editor of the Encyclopedia of American Studies, and is the Director of American Studies program at Temple.

Review:

`The first coherent national treatment of American photography, its scope extends beyond previous histories. Orvell offers convincing justification for American photography in the technological, self-fashioning, realistic and democratic idiosyncrasies of both medium and nation.' Journal of American Studies

`Coverage is remarkably comprehensive ... The research apparatus of the book is excellent ... The prose is clear and engaging and at points compelling ... From his [Orvell's] best chapter on photography and society emerges a voice which is not simply descriptive but urgent.' Journal of American Studies

`consistently readable and frequently stimulating' Burlington Magazine

`A fine introduction, and stimulating to readers already familiar with the riches of American camera work' Professor Mick Gidley, University of Leeds. 01/06/2002

`What a terrific book!...Rich references to literature, history, art, and popular culture make this story come alive.' Mary Panzer, Author of Matthew Brady and the Image of History, and former curator of photographs for the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery. 22/07/02

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