Synopses & Reviews
"Beginning in 1851 and taking a broad view forward, this ambitious text charts the influence of color on the reception, revolution, and technical development of photography in the United States. Rohrbach is well aware of the dauntingly vast purview of his topic, and he takes care to balance the many rapid advancements in technology with commercial styles, influences from painting, debates within artist communities, shifting cultural norms, and the sometimes contradictory impact of the art establishment. All in all, it's a lot to cover in one book, even one as large and lavishly illustrated as this. While there are certainly swaths more of photographic history that deserve a place in this narrative, Rohrbach proves himself an engaged and learned essayist, as sensitive to the high art concerns of contemporary photographers as to the subtleties of Autochrome techniques. A story that begins with scandals and tall tales of successful color photographs and ends with digital manipulation, the book consistently frames color photography not as an instantly celebrated sea change, but as an innovation approached with caution, artists and curators and critics all weary of garishness and artless representation. It is this nuance that makes the history worth revisiting, even for those already familiar with its long unfolding. Color illus. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.