5.American Writing on Photography
American critics and curators were among the ealiest to give the stamp of approval for photography as an art worthy of inclusion in a contemporary art museum context. Simultaneusly photography was a vital tool in documenting the history of their nation. These two poles of practice are investigated through a series of critical writings.
5.1 Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother"(1936) has become a model for documentary reportage. In her essay "The Assignment I'll Never Forget"(1960), Lange describes the context and the constraints which led to the final composition of her photograph.
5.2 The collaboration of the photographer Walker Evans and the American Pullitzer prize winning author James Agee for their book "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men"(1941), resulted in a work rich in description, irony and sadness. In this work Agee's writing compliments Evan's documentary approach, were the minutae of life are recorded by both with the diligence of a forensic scientists.
5.3 Cornell Capa's "The Concerned Photographer"(1967) offers a description of the concerned photographer, as a responsible individual, irrespective of subject or style.
5.4 John Szarkowski in his essay on American photography since 1960 - "Mirrors and Windows"(1981) looked beyond the conventional analysis of photographic history as a technicist practice and describes instead; his now institutionalised modernist analysis.
5.5 The American landscape photographer Robert Adams in a series of essays "Beauty in Photography:Essays in Defense of Traditional Values" (1981) reflects on the paradoxes which confront the everyday practice of a thinking photographer.
5.6 Ingrid Sischy's essay "Good Intentions"(1991) reviews the work of the photographer Sebastio Salgado and "eloquently deconstructs the concept of the 'concerned' photographer" (Heron&Williams1996)p 272.