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Cruise of the Pintail

A Journal

Robert L. Winans. James R. Turner

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.

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The Dancer Within

Intimate Conversations with Great Dancers

Rose Eichenbaum

The Dancer Within is a collection of photographic portraits and short essays based on confessional interviews with forty dancers and entertainers, many of them world-famous. Well-known on the concert stage, on Broadway, in Hollywood musicals, and on television, the personalities featured in this book speak with extraordinary candor about all stages of the dancer’s life—from their first dance class to their signature performances and their days of reflection on the artist’s life. The Dancer Within reveals how these artists triumphed, but also how they overcame adversity, including self-doubt, injuries, and aging. Most of all, this book is about the courage, commitment, love, and passion of these performers in their quest for artistic excellence. The reader will quickly realize that “the dancer within” is a metaphor of the human spirit.

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Death Makes the News

How the Media Censor and Display the Dead

Jessica M. Fishman

A behind-the-scenes account of how death is presented in the media
 
Death is considered one of the most newsworthy events, but words do not tell the whole story. Pictures are also at the epicenter of journalism, and when photographers and editors illustrate fatalities, it often raises questions about how they distinguish between a “fit” and “unfit” image of death.
 
Death Makes the News is the story of this controversial news practice: picturing the dead. Jessica Fishman uncovers the surprising editorial and political forces that structure how the news and media cover death. The patterns are striking, overturning long-held assumptions about which deaths are newsworthy and raising fundamental questions about the role that news images play in our society.
 
In a look behind the curtain of newsrooms, Fishman observes editors and photojournalists from different types of organizations as they deliberate over which images of death make the cut, and why. She also investigates over 30 years of photojournalism in the tabloid and patrician press to establish when the dead are shown and whose dead body is most newsworthy, illustrating her findings with high-profile news events, including recent plane crashes, earthquakes, hurricanes, homicides, political unrest, and war-time attacks. 
 
Death Makes the News reveals that much of what we think we know about the news is wrong: while the patrician press claims that they do not show dead bodies, they are actually more likely than the tabloid press to show them—even though the tabloids actually claim to have no qualms showing these bodies. Dead foreigners are more likely to be shown than American bodies. At the same time, there are other unexpected but vivid patterns that offer insight into persistent editorial forces that routinely structure news coverage of death.
 
An original view on the depiction of dead bodies in the media, Death Makes the News opens up new ways of thinking about how death is portrayed. 

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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.

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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.

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The Disciplinary Frame

Photographic Truths and the Capture of Meaning

John Tagg

Photography can seem to capture reality and the eye like no other medium, commanding belief and wielding the power of proof. In some cases, a photograph itself is attributed the force of the real. How can a piece of chemically discolored paper have such potency? How does the meaning of a photograph become fixed? In The Disciplinary Frame, John Tagg claims that, to answer these questions, we must look at the ways in which all that frames photography—the discourse that surrounds it and the institutions that circulate it—determines what counts as truth. The meaning and power of photographs, Tagg asserts, are discursive effects of the regimens that produce them as official record, documentary image, historical evidence, or art. Teasing out the historical processes involved, he examines a series of revealing case studies from nineteenth-century European and American photographs to Depression-era works by Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Margaret Bourke-White to the conceptualist photography of John Baldessari. Central to this transformative work are questions of cultural strategy, the growth of the state, and broad issues of power and representation: how the discipline of the frame holds both photographic image and viewer in place, without erasing the possibility for evading, and even resisting, capture. Photographs, Tagg ultimately finds, are at once too big and too small for the frames in which they are enclosed—always saying more than is wanted and less than is desired.

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Earth and Mars

A Reflection

Stephen E. Strom and Bradford A. Smith

Nearly five billion years ago, Earth and Mars were born together as planetary siblings orbiting a young, emerging Sun. Yet today, one planet is water rich and life bearing, while the other is seemingly cold, dry, and forbidding.

Earth and Mars is a fusion of art and science, a blend of images and essays celebrating the successful creation of our life-sustaining planet and the beauty and mystery of Mars. Through images of terrestrial landscapes and photographs selected from recent NASA and European Space Agency missions to Mars, Earth and Mars reveals the profound beauty resulting from the action of volcanism, wind, and water. The accompanying text provides a context for appreciating the role of these elemental forces in shaping the surfaces of each planet, as well as the divergent evolutionary paths that led to an Earth that is teeming with life, and Mars that is seemingly lifeless.

Earth and Mars inspires reflection on the extraordinarily delicate balance of forces that has resulted in our good fortune: to be alive and sentient on a bountiful blue world.

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Editing and Special/Visual Effects

Charlie Keil

Most moviegoers think of editing and special effects as distinct components of the filmmaking process. We might even conceive of them as polar opposites, since effective film editing is often subtle and almost invisible, whereas special effects frequently call attention to themselves. Yet, film editors and visual effects artists have worked hand-in-hand from the dawn of cinema to the present day. 
 
Editing and Special/Visual Effects brings together a diverse range of film scholars who trace how the arts of editing and effects have evolved in tandem. Collectively, the contributors demonstrate how these two crafts have been integral to cinematic history, starting with the “trick films” of the early silent era, which astounded audiences by splicing in or editing out key frames, all the way up to cutting-edge effects technologies and concealed edits used to create the illusions. Throughout, readers learn about a variety of filmmaking techniques, from classic Hollywood’s rear projection and matte shots to the fast cuts and wall-to-wall CGI of the contemporary blockbuster. 
 
In addition to providing a rich historical overview, Editing and Special/Visual Effects supplies multiple perspectives on these twinned crafts, introducing readers to the analog and digital tools used in each craft, showing the impact of changes in the film industry, and giving the reader a new appreciation for the processes of artistic collaboration they involve. 
 

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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.

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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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