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American Photography: A Century of Imagesby Vicki Goldberg
Synopses & Reviews
On V.J. Day in Times Square, a sailor kissing a pretty girl he's never met before is caught in the act. Newly arrived European immigrants at Ellis Island gaze at the camera with a mix of apprehension and hope. A groundbreaking still life artfully eroticizes the curves and shadows of a twisted bell pepper. These are a few of the more than 150 photographs collected in American Photography that document a century of our national experience. Whether viewed as a purely artistic medium, a tool for influencing public opinion, or a recorder of events both public and personal, photography has been a powerful and intimate vehicle for communicating our values and our dreams. Focusing on one or more images for each year, this companion book to the PBS series considers some of the century's best-known photographs as well as everyday snapshots, examining the diverse roles photography has played in shaping our lives. From the one-dollar Brownie snapshot of a baby in 1900 to the awesome potential of computer-enhanced images at the brink of the millennium, American Photography covers a range of styles, formats, and subjects as diverse as the nation they sprang from. Richly detailed, authoritative, and abundantly illustrated, American Photography is a landmark look at the pictures we have taken, and where they have taken us.
Book News Annotation:
This beautiful and informative photographic history includes images from 1900 to 1999. Many are often seen (bullet piercing the apple, splashing crown of milk, Sophia Loren looking askance at Jayne Mansfield's plunging d<'e>collet<'e>, and Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother); but most are probably unknown, because the photos were selected not only for their visual and cognitive qualities but also for their importance to the history and development of photographic technique and usage. The century is divided into thirds for explanation's sake, and there is at least one photograph for every year. While this is a picture book, the accompanying text provides informative introductions to the uses and abuses of perhaps the century's most important medium. The book is companion to the PBS series. Oversize: 12.5x9.5<">.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 230) and index.
About the Author
Vicki Goldberg is a photography critic for the New York Times, a Harry Frank Guggen- heim Foundation fellow, and the author of several books, including The Power of Photography: How Photographs Changed Our Lives.
Robert Silberman is associate professor of Art History and director of Film Studies at the University of Minnesota. He writes frequently on photography, film, and contemporary art for Afterimage and other publications.
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