New in Print

PHOTOGRAPHY

EXHIBITION

Acting Out: Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography

by John Rohrbach (Editor), Erin Pauwels (Contributor), Britt Salvesen (Contributor), Fernanda Valverde (Contributor)

Cabinet cards were America’s main format for photographic portraiture throughout the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Standardized at 6½ x 4¼ inches, they were just large enough to reveal extensive detail, leading to the incorporation of elaborate poses, backdrops, and props. Inexpensive and sold by the dozen, they transformed getting one’s portrait made from a formal event taken up once or twice in a lifetime into a commonplace practice shared with friends.  The cards reinforced middle-class Americans’ sense of family. They allowed people to show off their material achievements and comforts, and the best cards projected an informal immediacy that encouraged viewers to feel emotionally connected with those portrayed. The experience even led sitters to act out before the camera. By making photographs an easygoing fact of life, the cards forecast the snapshot and today’s ubiquitous photo sharing.  Organized by senior curator John Rohrbach, Acting Out is the first ever in-depth examination of the cabinet card phenomena. Full-color plates include over 100 cards at full size, providing a highly entertaining collection of these early versions of the selfie and ultimately demonstrating how cabinet cards made photography modern.

Hardcover, 232 pages – University of California Press – June 2020 – $45

HISTORY/ TECHNIQUE

Calotype or Paper Negatives: Historical and Alternative Photography 

by Peter Mrhar

The book Calotype or Paper Negatives in the Historical and Alternative Photography series takes the reader into the first decades after the birth of photography. The daguerreotype had already wholly conquered the world, and Talbot’s paper negatives only became more popular after the introduction of various changes. But it was only with the improvements of different French photographers that the paper negatives reached their peak. In this book, we describe these most popular and reliable methods. Thus, the reader will gradually learn all the details of making paper negatives following the procedures of Guillot-Saguez, Le Gray, Greenlaw, and Pelegry. We also mentioned some old and new variants, we devoted a lot of space to solving problems and producing positive images. I have also presented various operations in making paper negatives in the videos found on my YouTube channel.

Paperback, 164 pages – Independently published – April 2020 – $31 – Available at amazon.com

HISTORY

The Decisive Network: Magnum Photos and the Postwar Image Market 

by Nadya Bair

Since its founding in 1947, the legendary Magnum Photos agency has been telling its own story about photographers who were witnesses to history and artists on the hunt for decisive moments. Based on unprecedented archival research, The Decisive Network unravels Magnum’s mythologies to offer a new history of what it meant to shoot, edit, and sell news images after World War II.
 
Nadya Bair shows that between the 1940s and 1960s, Magnum expanded the human-interest story to global dimensions while bringing the aesthetic of news pictures into new markets. Working with a vast range of editorial and corporate clients, Magnum made photojournalism integral to postwar visual culture. But its photographers could not have done this alone. By unpacking the collaborative nature of photojournalism, this book shows how picture editors, sales agents, spouses, and publishers helped Magnum photographers succeed in their assignments and achieve fame. Bair concludes in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when changing market conditions led Magnum to consolidate its brand. In that moment, Magnum’s photojournalists became artists and their assignments oeuvres. Bridging art history, media studies, cultural history, and the history of communication, The Decisive Network transforms our understanding of the photographic profession and the global circulation of images in the pre-digital world.

Hardcover, 336 pages – University of California Press – July 2020 – $49.95

Polaroid Now: The History and Future of Polaroid Photography

Polaroid Then and Now celebrates the history and evolution of the first and foremost instant imaging camera system.  Featuring both vintage and current Polaroid photography, this book covers iconic midcentury photographers and artists, as well as contemporary creatives.  A foreword by Matthew Antezzo, Polaroid Art and Culture Director, provides both an historical account and a visionary view forward of the creative possibilities with the revered brand.  An artist index features thumbnail images of every photograph included in the book along with the name of the artist, the location, date, and the specific Polaroid camera and film stock used.  The cover of the book features the original 1960s packaging design by renowned graphic designer Paul Giambarba.  This officially licensed partnership with the world-renowned Polaroid brand is the most comprehensive book published on Polaroid to date, showcasing the work of hundreds of photographers from all over the world.

Hardcover, 400 pages – Chronicle Chroma – August 2020 – Available from Chronicle Books

FINE ARTS, PRINTS, & GRAPHIC ARTS

HISTORY

This is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot

By Alicia Yin Cheng

This Is What Democracy Looked Like, the first illustrated history of printed ballot design, illuminates the noble but often flawed process at the heart of our democracy. An exploration and celebration of US ballots from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this visual history reveals unregulated, outlandish, and, at times, absurd designs that reflect the explosive growth and changing face of the voting public. The ballots offer insight into a pivotal time in American history—a period of tectonic shifts in the electoral system—fraught with electoral fraud, disenfranchisement, scams, and skullduggery, as parties printed their own tickets and voters risked their lives going to the polls.

Alicia Yin Cheng is a founding partner of MGMT. design in Brooklyn, New York. She currently serves as an external critic for the MFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught at Yale University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Barnard College, and Cooper Union.

Hardcover, 176 pages – Princeton Architectural Press – June 2020 – $29.95

CRITIQUE

True Grit: American Prints from 1900 to 1950

By Stephanie Schrader, James Glisson, and Alexander Nemerov

In the first half of the twentieth century, a group of American artists influenced by the painter and teacher Robert Henri aimed to reject the pretenses of academic fine art and polite society. Embracing the democratic inclusiveness of the Progressive movement, these artists turned to making prints, which were relatively inexpensive to produce and easy to distribute. For their subject matter, the artists mined the bustling activity and stark realities of the urban centers in which they lived and worked…

True Grit examines a rich selection of prints by well-known figures like George Bellows, Edward Hopper, Joseph Pennell, and John Sloan as well as lesser-known artists such as Ida Abelman, Peggy Bacon, Miguel Covarrubias, and Mabel Dwight. Written by three scholars of printmaking and American art, the essays present nuanced discussions of gender, class, literature, and politics, contextualizing the prints in the rapidly changing milieu of the first decades of twentieth-century America.

Hardcover, 112 pages – Getty Publications – 2019 – $35

AUDIO VISUAL

PRACTICE

The Palgrave Handbook of Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility

By Łukasz Bogucki (Editor), Mikołaj Deckert (Editor)

This handbook is a comprehensive and up-to-date resource covering the booming field of Audiovisual Translation (AVT) and Media Accessibility (MA). Bringing together an international team of renowned scholars in the field of translation studies, the handbook surveys the state of the discipline, consolidates existing knowledge, explores avenues for future research and development, and also examines methodological and ethical concerns. This handbook will be a valuable resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, early-stage researchers but also experienced scholars working in translation studies, communication studies, media studies, linguistics, cultural studies and foreign language education.

Hardcover, 759 pages – Palgrave Macmillan – July 2020 – $219.99 – Available from amazon.com

In Focus

Get Social

Instagram

A collection of ethereal musings from the past ten centuries; these illuminations, prints, paintings, and photographs, curated by Stephen Ellcock, never fail to enchant.

@stephenellcock


Twitter

Follow CollectSocialPhoto, a Nordic collaborative project developing methods for collecting social digital photography in museums and archives. Their website includes updates, resources, and information on related conferences and workshops throughout the world.


Online Opportunities

In case you missed it

Put on a kettle and listen to sessions delivered at 2017’s “Photo Archives IV: The Place of Photography,” an international conference whose focus was investigating photographs and photographic archives in relation to notions of place. 


Let’s get lost! 

Prepare to lose your day in this charming collection of early Japanese animation from the National Film Center, Tokyo. [Site is in English]


You (didn’t) have to be there

Street photography enthusiasts, rejoice! Closed for the pandemic, the 2020 Italian Street Photo Festival has taken its program online


On display

The works of Charles “Teenie” Harris, legendary chronicler of Pittsburgh’s African American community and photographer for The Pittsburgh Courier, now have a dedicated gallery at the Carnegie Museum of Art. The exhibition features iconic examples of Harris’s photographs and will be the focus of a number of educational programs and community events inspired by this world-renowned collection.


Get Involved

Time wasters

You are probably stuck inside anyway, so why not participate in the Getty Challenge?

**This one has been going on for a while–it might be stale now, but is still hilarious.


Lend a hand

Looking for useful ways to pass time during your next Zoom meeting? Spend a few moments tagging historic structures, details, and byways in NARA’s Citizen Archivist crowdsourcing project for the Bureau of Public Roads, 1896-1963 Records.


Group efforts

View crowdsourced images documenting scenes of self-isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic or submit your own to the Isolation Museum.


Education

Learn something

Travel plans scrapped? Don’t despair–there are still are plenty of opportunities for distance learning. Check out the (occasionally free) offerings from SAA, NEDCC, and AMIA.

IN FOCUS

Exhibits

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings + Landscapes

Oct. 19, 2019–Feb. 2, 2020 / October 17-December 21, 2019

Need a reason for a road trip? Head down to Atlanta, where two exhibitions featuring the photography of Sally Mann are on display this Fall. Through February 2, 2020, the High Museum of Art is hosting Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings, which explores how her relationship with the land has shaped her work and how the legacy of the South—as both homeland and graveyard, refuge and battleground—continues to inform American identity. Through December 21, 2019, Jackson Fine Art is host to Remembered Light, an intimate, personal series documenting a creative fellowship between herself and the artist Cy Twombly, as well as images of the tactile traces remaining after his passing in 2011. The results are a luminous rumination on what a life leaves behind.

Acquisitions

 Nature Self-Portrait #2, 1996, Laura Aguilar. Gelatin silver print, 14 x 19 1/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Purchased with funds provided by the Photographs Council, 2019.19.2. © Laura Aguilar Trust of 2016

Laura Aguilar Photographs

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

The largest museum acquisition of Laura Aguilar’s photography, a cache of 35 photos produced during her three-decade career, was recently obtained by the J. Paul Getty Museum. The photographs–often featuring Aguilar, who died last year–explore her Latinix, working-class, and queer identity, providing insight into the creative vision of an artist gone too soon. A selection of the prints will go on view in Unseen: 35 Years of Collecting Photographs (December 17, 2019–March 8, 2020 at the Getty Center).

Education

Hilversum, Netherlands Symposium

“Archives, assumed to be containers of memory, are vested with a particular power to constitute and define who is and who is not included in (his)stories. We explore what “decolonizing” the archive – within and beyond the walls of established institutions – could offer for the production of new bodies of knowledge.”

Organized by the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies & the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision , Inward Outward will investigate the status of moving image and sound archives worldwide as they intertwine with questions of coloniality, identity and race. Registration for the symposium opens at the end of October and is free of charge.

Online Symposium

Did you miss SFMoMA’s symposium “The Artist Initiative Symposium on Photography: Reprinting Color Photographs as a Preservation Strategy”? Never fear, video and transcripts are now available! The symposium includes discussions from photographers, conservators, and curators on the issues and challenges concerning the reprinting of color photographs, a history of reprinting photographs at MoMA, as well as philosophical and ethical framework for projects.

Good to Know

Get some standards! New to Audiovisual processing or just curious on how other institutions handle these complex collections? Check out the newly revised Guidelines for Processing Collections with Audiovisual Material from the Archives of American Art. 

Get Social

Instagram

Explore the unexpected beauty of found imagery with Lost and Found Archive, a collection of scanned 35mm slides found at boot fairs, jumble sales, garage sales, junk shops and markets. Curated by U.K. artist Neil Brown.

Tumbler

Lose yourself in this continuous delight of graphic materials selected by the staff of University of Wisconsin-Madison.