Between Amateur and Aesthete: The Legitimization of Photography as Art in America, 1880-1900

Synopsis

The popularisation of amateur photography and the recognition of photography as an art framed the last two decades of the nineteenth century. Until now, these crucial events in the history of photography surprisingly have been unexamined. Paul Sternberger offers the first thorough investigation of the part played by the amateur photographer and of the struggle to legitimise photography as art. The fascinating study shows the late nineteenth century to have been a complex time for both photographic theory and practice in America. At the same time it enlarges our understanding of photographic history.

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