Amateurs, Photography, and the Mid-Victorian Imagination

Grace Seiberling, Author, Carolyn Bloore, With University of Chicago Press $75 (206p) ISBN 978-0-226-74498-8
Photography's early days in England (184060) were marked by enthusiastic experimentation. Amateurs wrote elaborate reports on paper vs. glass negatives, calotype vs. albumen prints and debated photography as science vs. art. Seiberling, who teaches at the University of Rochester in New York, and Bloore, a researcher, have mined period camera-club proceedings, contemporary journals, press accounts of exhibitions and the correspondence of early camera practitioners. The result is a detailed and homogenous technical and social photographic history. Prints in a portfolio paralleling the text are annotated, tracing the gradual emergence of various approaches: documentary (asylum inmates), esthetic per se (soft focus for effect), varied interpretations of architectural and natural treasure. This is a major instructional vehicle and a significant reference work. (June 17)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1986
Release date: 05/01/1986
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