History of Photography

H of P Seminars
Critical Studies
E. Chambre Hardman


Critical Studies


1. Introduction to the Literature

Currently available overviews of histories of photography include the following authors (Jeffrey 1981), (Lemagny& Rouille 1987), (Newhall 1972) and (Rosenblum 1984).

What are the other sources for academic research?

A critical approach to photography necessitates the making of value judgements such as - good or bad; beautiful or ugly. Questions pertaining to value judgenments in art are traditionally the province of aesthetic philosophers.

Many of the aesthetic questions we may ask of photography, have already been asked about the other arts. For example Aristotle (384-322 BC) in his work "Poetics" asked aesthetic questions about drama, poetry and music. Other writers have asked aesthetic questions about painting, sculpture, architecture, literature.

The invention of photography however posed new aesthetic questions, particularly perplexing was the photographer's dependence on a machine.

Can there be any agreement on aesthetic questions? For example, does the concept of "beauty", which derived its model from "nature" during the 17th,18th and 19th centuries continue to dominate contemporary aesthetic models?


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