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Cruise of the Pintail Cover

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Cruise of the Pintail

A Journal

Robert L. Winans

In 1932 a young Fonville Winans (1911–1992) left his home in Fort Worth and set out on the waterways of south Louisiana searching for adventure and fortune. This journal recounts, in his own words, how the now-renowned photographer and his two friends—first mate Bob Owen and second mate Don Horridge—ventured onto untamed Louisiana waters aboard a leaking, rudderless sailboat, the Pintail. Fonville was shooting footage for a movie that he felt certain would make them rich and famous, telling the story of subtropical south Louisiana’s remote coastal landscapes and its curious people. The project was ambitious and risky—just the right combination for three young Texans with hopes of stardom. Developing his photographic skill, Fonville traveled during the summers of 1932 and 1934 to swamps, barrier islands, and reefs, from Grand Isle to New Orleans to the Atchafalaya, making friends and taking pictures. The journal, in effect, layers Fonville’s unique voice over his now-iconic visual record of moving images and stills. Robert L. Winans selected more than one hundred photos to accompany his father’s diary entries, offering a fascinating inner look at Fonville Winans’s world.

Developing Animals Cover

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Developing Animals

Wildlife and Early American Photography

Matthew Brower

Pictures of animals are now ubiquitous, but the ability to capture animals on film was a significant challenge in the early era of photography. In Developing Animals, Matthew Brower takes us back to the time when Americans started taking pictures of the animal kingdom, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the moment when photography became a mass medium and wildlife photography an increasingly popular genre.

Developing Animals compellingly investigates the way photography changed our perception of animals. Brower analyzes how photographers created new ideas about animals as they moved from taking pictures of taxidermic specimens in so-called natural settings to the emergence of practices such as camera hunting, which made it possible to capture images of creatures in the wild.

By combining approaches in visual cultural studies and the history of photography, Developing Animals goes further to argue that photography has been essential not only to the understanding of wildlife but also to the conceptual separation of humans and animals.

Diane Arbus’s 1960s Cover

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Diane Arbus’s 1960s

Auguries of Experience

Frederick Gross

In any decade the work of only a very few artists offers a template for understanding the culture and ideas of their time. Photographer Diane Arbus is one of these rare artists, and in this book Frederick Gross returns Arbus’s work to the moment in which it was produced and first viewed to reveal its broader significance for analyzing and mapping the culture of the 1960s. While providing a unique view of the social, literary, and artistic context within which Arbus worked, he also, perhaps for the first time anywhere, measures the true breadth and complexity of her achievement.

Gross considers Arbus less in terms of her often mythologized biography—a “Sylvia Plath with a camera”—but rather looks at how her work resonates with significant photographic portraiture, art, social currents, theoretical positions, and literature of her times, from Robert Frank and Richard Avedon to Andy Warhol and Truman Capote. He shows how her incandescent photographs seem to literalize old notions of photography as trapping a layer of the subject’s soul within the frame of a picture. For Arbus, “auguries”—as in “Auguries of Innocence,” her 1963 photographic spread in Harper’s Bazaar—conveyed the idea that whoever was present in her photograph could attain legendary status.

By shifting critical attention from the myths of Arbus’s biography to the mythmaking of her art, this book gives us a new, informed appreciation of one of the twentieth century’s most important photographers and a better understanding of the world in which she worked.

Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian Project in the Field Cover

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Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian Project in the Field

Mick Gidley

In Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indian Project in the Field, Mick Gidley provides an intimate and informative glimpse of Edward S. Curtis (1868–1952) and his associates as they undertook their work in the early decades of the twentieth century. Photographer Curtis embarked on an epic quest to document through word and picture the traditional cultures of Native Americans in the western United States—cultures that he believed were inevitably doomed. Curtis’s project became the largest anthropological enterprise undertaken in this country and yielded the monumental work The North American Indian (1907–30). Its publication was a watershed in the anthropological study of Native Americans and inspired the first full-length documentary film, popular magazine articles, books for young readers, lectures, and photography exhibitions. Housing a wealth of ethnographic information yet steeped in nostalgia and predicated upon the assumption that Native Americans were a “vanishing race,” Curtis’s work has been both influential and controversial, and its vision of Native Americans must still be reckoned with today.
 
Gidley draws on a wide array of unpublished or uncollected reminiscences, reports, letters, field notes, and magazine and newspaper articles. The reports and reflections by Curtis and the project’s ethnological assistants, memoirs by Curtis family members, and eyewitness accounts by newspaper reporters afford an unprecedented look at the process of anthropological fieldwork as it was commonly practiced during this period. This book also sheds light on the views of Curtis and his contemporaries concerning their enterprise and the Native peoples they worked with and provides a clearer sense of how both Native Americans and the mainstream American public perceived their efforts.

End of the Line Cover

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End of the Line

Closing the Last Sardine Cannery in America

Markham Starr

At one time, sardines were an inexpensive staple for many Americans. The 212 photographs in this elegant volume offer a striking document of this now vanished industry. Generations of workers in Maine have snipped, sliced, and packed the small, silvery fish into billions of cans on their way to Americans' lunch buckets and kitchen cabinets. On April 15, 2010, Stinson's Seafood, once the home of Beach Cliff Sardines, shut down the packing line that had made the name world famous. Begun in 1927, Stinson's empire eventually included sardine canneries spread along the Maine coast and a fleet of ships to supply them. With this closing, however, the end of the entire sardine industry in Maine had finally arrived. Photographer Markham Starr was privileged to spend several days at the Stinson factory in Prospect Harbor, one month before it was dismantled, emerging with a collection of remarkable images that transform the parts of the cannery into works of art and capture the resilience of the workers faced with the loss of jobs many had held for decades. This book includes a short essay, and shows the heartland of Maine at its finest.

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Faces of the Civil War

An Album of Union Soldiers and Their Stories

Ronald S. Coddington with a Foreword by Michael Fellman

Before going off to fight in the Civil War, many soldiers on both sides of the conflict posed for a carte de visite, or visiting card, to give to their families, friends, or sweethearts. Invented in 1854 by a French photographer, the carte de visite was a small photographic print roughly the size of a modern trading card. The format arrived in America on the eve of the Civil War, which fueled intense demand for the convenient and affordable keepsakes. Considerable numbers of these portrait cards of Civil War soldiers survive today, but the experiences—and often the names—of the individuals portrayed have been lost to time. A passionate collector of Civil War–era photography, Ron Coddington became intrigued by these anonymous faces and began to research the history behind them in military records, pension files, and other public and personal documents. In Faces of the Civil War, Coddington presents 77 cartes de visite of Union soldiers from his collection and tells the stories of their lives during and after the war. The soldiers portrayed were wealthy and poor, educated and unschooled, native-born and immigrant, urban and rural. All were volunteers. Their personal stories reveal a tremendous diversity in their experience of war: many served with distinction, some were captured, some never saw combat while others saw little else. The lives of those who survived the war were even more disparate. While some made successful transitions back to civilian life, others suffered permanent physical and mental disabilities, which too often wrecked their families and careers. In compelling words and haunting pictures, Faces of the Civil War offers a unique perspective on the most dramatic and wrenching period in American history.

Faces of the Confederacy Cover

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Faces of the Confederacy

An Album of Southern Soldiers and Their Stories

Ronald S. Coddington with a foreword by Michael Fellman

“The history of the Civil War is the stories of its soldiers,” writes Ronald S. Coddington in the preface to Faces of the Confederacy. This book tells the stories of seventy-seven Southern soldiers—young farm boys, wealthy plantation owners, intellectual elites, uneducated poor—who posed for photographic portraits, cartes de visite, to leave with family, friends, and sweethearts before going off to war. Coddington, a passionate collector of Civil War–era photography, conducted a monumental search for these previously unpublished portrait cards, then unearthed the personal stories of their subjects, putting a human face on a war rife with inhuman atrocities. The Civil War took the lives of 22 of every 100 men who served. Coddington follows the exhausted survivors as they return home to occupied cities and towns, ravaged farmlands, a destabilized economy, and a social order in the midst of upheaval. This book is a haunting and moving tribute to those brave men. Like its companion volume, Faces of the Civil War: An Album of Union Soldiers and Their Stories, this book offers readers a unique perspective on the war and contributes to a better understanding of the role of the common soldier.

Film and Risk Cover

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Film and Risk

Edited by Mette Hjort

The phenomenon of risk has been seriously neglected in connection with the study of film, yet many of those who write about film seem to have intuitions about how various forms of risk-taking shape aspects of the filmmaking or film-viewing process. Film and Risk fills this gap as editor Mette Hjort and interdisciplinary contributors discuss film’s relation to all types of risk. Bringing together scholars from philosophy, anthropology, film studies, economics, and cultural studies, as well as experts from the fields of law, filmmaking, and photojournalism, this volume discusses risk from multiple intriguing angles. In thirteen chapters, contributors consider concrete risks (e.g., stunts or financial decisions); theoretical aesthetic and artistic risks (e.g., filmmakers who incorporate excessive hazards into their films); and the real-world jeopardy spectators might put themselves in when viewing films. The first three chapters tackle the conceptual terrain that is relevant to understanding risk in film. The next three chapters focus on risk as it pertains to the practice of filmmaking. Subsequent chapters deal with economic risk and the role that risk has in the development of film’s institutional landscape. The scholarship in this collection is impressive, boasting some of the top writers in their respective fields. Through the contributors’ clear and thorough discussions, this cohesive but diverse collection shows that risk arises in many different areas that tend to be thought of as central to film studies. Scholars of film studies will appreciate this daring and inventive collection, and readers with a general interest in film studies will enjoy its accessible style.

Film and the American Moral Vision of Nature Cover

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Film and the American Moral Vision of Nature

Theodore Roosevelt to Walt Disney

Ronald B. Tobias

With his square, bulldoggish stature, signature rimless glasses, and inimitable smile — part grimace, part snarl — Theodore Roosevelt was an unforgettable figure, imprinted on the American memory through photographs, the chiseled face of Mount Rushmore, and, especially, film. At once a hunter, explorer, naturalist, woodsman, and rancher, Roosevelt was the quintessential frontiersman, a man who believed that only nature could truly test and prove the worth of man. A documentary he made about his 1909 African safari embodied aggressive ideas of masculinity, power, racial superiority, and the connection between nature and manifest destiny. These ideas have since been reinforced by others — Jesse “Buff alo” Jones, Paul Rainey, Martin and Osa Johnson, and Walt Disney. Using Roosevelt as a starting point, filmmaker and scholar Ronald Tobias traces the evolution of American attitudes toward nature, attitudes that remain, to this day, remarkably conflicted, complex, and instilled with dreams of empire.

Fruit of the Orchard Cover

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Fruit of the Orchard

Environmental Justice in East Texas

Photographs by Tammy Cromer-Campbell. Essays by Phyllis Glazer, Roy Flukinger, Eugene Hargrove, and Marvin Legator

In 1982, a toxic waste facility opened in the Piney Woods in Winona, Texas. The residents were told that the company would plant fruit trees on the land left over from its ostensible salt-water injection well. Soon after the plant opened, however, residents started noticing huge orange clouds rising from the facility and an increase in rates of cancer and birth defects in both humans and animals. The company dismissed their concerns, and confusion about what chemicals it accepted made investigations difficult. Outraged by what she saw, Phyllis Glazer founded Mothers Organized to Stop Environmental Sins (MOSES) and worked tirelessly to publicize the problems in Winona. The story was featured in People , the Houston Chronicle magazine, and The Dallas Observer . The plant finally closed in 1998, citing the negative publicity generated by the group. This book originated in 1994 when Cromer-Campbell was asked by Phyllis Glazer to produce a photograph for a poster about the campaign. She was so touched by the people in the town that she set out to document their stories. Using a plastic Holga camera, she created hauntingly distorted images that are both works of art and testaments to the damage inflicted on the people of a small Texas town by one company’s greed. In the accompanying essays, Phyllis Glazer describes the history of Winona and the fight against the facility; Roy Flukinger discusses Cromer-Campbell's striking photographic technique; Eugene Hargrove explores issues of environmental justice; and Marvin Legator elaborates on how industry and government discourage victims of chemical exposure from seeking or obtaining relief.

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