U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Off topic, photo history text question

Re: Off topic, photo history text question

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  • Subject: Re: Off topic, photo history text question
  • From: Judy Seigel <jseigel@panix.com>
  • Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2008 21:34:17 -0400 (EDT)
  • Comments: "alt-photo-process mailing list"
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  • Reply-to: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca

On Wed, 29 Oct 2008, Diana Bloomfield wrote:

... And I don't have this book, nor have I seen it, but a friend of mine (who teaches) mentioned it to me once-- Robert Hirsch's 'Seizing the Light: A History of Photography.' Again, not sure of the exact years that one covers, but my friend seemed to think it was worthwhile.

I've got that book and find it very soso.... I suspect that Hirsch was over extended (or overreaching?), as I've referred to in another context.

However I do have two WONDERFUL books I highly recommend -- for themselves, their scope and reach, but not necessarily *American* photography. Naomi Rosenblum's "A World History of Photography" copyright 1984, is hardly le dernier cri, but it makes up for Beaumont Newhall's fixation with Ansel Adams, being much more *world* oriented and well beyond Ansel. (Don't get me wrong, I know & appreciate Newhall's writing about photography -- gripping, heartfelt, etc... in, for instance,
"Looking at Photographs" [is that the title? Like that, anyway.] But he had a snit about the next wave after Adams, and wrote some silliness dismissing color, et al, that, if I can find the book, I'll quote... I think he also quoted some mid-century pundit saying that the new work in cyanotype, et al, was best forgotten. Which is to say, he's great for pre-1945, but NOT (IMO) after.

Another wonderful book (maybe the school will pay for it?) is referred to as "the Frizot" -- it's "A New History of Photgraphy" edited by Michel Frizot... if you could believe, a FRENCHMAN! English edition: 1998.

This includes a wider swathe than any of the others... Contributors listed range from Pierre Albert, Stuart Alexander, Peter Bunnell, Ian Jeffrey, Molly Nesbit, Shelley Rice, Fred Richin, Pierre Vaisse, Mike Weaver and Colin Westerbeck... and those are just the names I was most familiar with... Lots of others.

Tho then again, my hunch is the school doesn't want something that "worldly", but rather the USA as "the world" ??? Meanwhile, either of these books might be found used, and (different & delicious) gems for any library.

I open at random to page 265 of the Frizot to find a small inset, "Types of Russian Female Criminals."

Who could ask for anything more?