Photography at MoMA: 1840 to 1920


Over 400 reproductions chart the photographic medium from early examples in the 1840s through its involvement in various international art movements.
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Since the invention of photography, legions of practitioners have minedits artistic and practical potential, paying particular attention to itsnovel depiction of space and time, its utility as a tool fordocumentation and exploration, and its distinctive take on modernism andmodernity. This volume explores the ways in which this newmedium—photography—and this new apparatus—the camera—evolved during itsfirst century, from the masterworks of William Henry Fox Talbot, one ofphotography’s inventors, to the portraits of Julia Margaret Cameron,Nadar, and Gertrude Käsebier; the motion studies of Eadweard Muybridge;surveys of landscape and architecture by American and Europeanpractitioners; the documentary images of Carleton Watkins, Eugène Atget,and Lewis Hine; and the modernist works of Karl Blossfeldt, EdwardSteichen, and Paul Strand.

This publication provides a wide-ranging look at a medium so thoroughlyand instantly modern that it is represented in MoMA’s collection byworks that predate any of the Museum’s paintings or sculptures by a fullforty years. And now, more than 175 years later, the modern spirit ofearly photography remains intact, and Photography at MoMA: 1840 to 1920provides a record of its contradictions, aspirations, and achievements.This is the final volume in the three-volume Photography at MoMA series,which draws upon the exceptional depth of the Museum's collection totell a new history of photography.

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