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The History of Photography: An Overview

Alma Davenport

First published in 1991, The History of Photography explores the people, technology, and imagery that have made photography such a tremendous force in modern culture. As technology has improved, the level to which society depends upon photography increases. Over the past 150 years, photographers and their works have taught, inspired, angered, and spurred several generations toward social and political action. This interdependence between society and the photographic image continues to strengthen and evolve.
This book develops specific themes from pre-photography to the present. The reader will develop a deeper understanding of how major photographers have viewed their work, how attitudes toward photography have changed, and how photography has influenced world perceptions and events.


Alma Davenport, a photographer for nearly thirty years, is professor of fine arts at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.


“This is a book about people and their importance in the great scheme of photography, and about how the way they thought and acted in their time has shaped the medium. It is perceptive about the way photography has helped to force radical changes in society.”


The Photographic Journal

“This book is particularly strong in its reconsideration of the formative years of photography. Clearly written and featuring many fresh illustrations, it represents a useful addition to what is already a sizeable literature.”


British Book News

8.5 x 11 in. 208 pages 8 color plates., 14 drawings