American Photography (Oxford History of Art)
Why this book?
This book is a lively, questioning, and comprehensive survey of American photography, from its beginnings to the present. It analyzes achievements in each of the genres, from portraiture, through landscape, to documentary, fashion, etc. It treats individual photographic artists, from Avedon to Weegee, from the views of New York taken by Berenice Abbott to J.T. Zealy’s likenesses of enslaved Africans. American Photography is always concerned to underscore what photographs have to tell us about major aspects of American culture: race and ethnicity, gender and identity, business and technology, religion, and region. It also has numerous well-reproduced images; illuminating sidebars and boxes on such topics as the daguerreotype or picture magazines; a helpful timeline; and notes on further reading and viewing. The book was expanded and retitled as Photography in America in 2015, but the first edition still holds up.