150 years of American photography come alive in this exciting new book, placing it in its cultural context for the first time. Orvell examines this fascinating subject through a wide range of well known and less-well known images. He ranges from portraiture and landscape photography, family albums and memory, and analyses the particularly 'American' way in which American photographers have viewed the world around them. Orvell combines a clear overview of the changing nature of photographic thinking and practice in this period with an exploration of key concepts. The result is the first coherent history of American photography, which examines issues such as the nature of photographic exploitation, experimental techniques, the power of the photograph to shock, and whether we should subscribe to the notion of a visual history.
About the Author
Miles Orvell is Professor of English and American Studies, with a broad interest in modern American culture, at Temple University. His other publications include 'The Real Thing: Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture 1880-1940', which was co-winner of the American Studies Association's John Hope Franklin Prize, and his essays and reviews have appeared in many journals, such as American Art and History of Photography. He is also the Senior Editor of the Encyclopedia of American Studies, and is the Director of American Studies program at Temple.