Photography a Cultural History Mary Warner Marien

July 12, 2014

Click here to buy this book from AmazonThere are hundreds of thousands of photographers and so it is a perfectly valid question to ask how the photographers on this site have been selected for inclusion. This site is developmental and so the criteria are evolving as content develops but I'll explain how it started.

  • The selection of key reference resources
    A basic core of major photographers was started using Lee D. Witkin and Barbara London (1979) 'The Photograph CollectorÂ’s Guide' (London: Secker and Warburg) as a basis for earlier photographers of note. For the nineteenth century photographers the website of Robert Leggat ( is very helpful. As I extended the work I went through a vast number of sources with the expensive reference work edited by Martin Marix Evans (1995) 'Contemporary Photographers' [Third Edition] (St. James Press - An International Thomson Publishing Company) providing in depth biographies. To ensure a reasonable coverage I also used Cornell Capa (ed.) (1984) 'The International Center of Photography: Encyclopedia of Photography' (New York, Crown Publishers, Inc. - A Pound Press Book)
  • Click here to buy this book from AmazonReference books on major photographers

    Contemporary Photographers [Third Edition]
    Contemporary Photographers [Third Edition]
    Martin Marix Evans (Executive editor)

    Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Photography
    Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Photography
    Lynne Warren (Editor)
  • Examination of standard histories
    There are now many histories of photography and I consulted these including:
  • Beaumont Newhall (1982) 'The History of Photography' [Fifth Edition]
  • Ian Jeffrey Photography: A Concise History
  • In the last decade a number of more comprehensive histories have come out including:
  • [1997] - Naomi Rosenblum: A World History of Photography
  • [1999] - Michel Frizot (Editor); Albert, Pierre (Editor); & Harding, Colin (Editor), The New History of Photography, [Originally published in French but later translated.]
  • [2003] - Mary Warner Marien; Photography: A Cultural History
  • Click here to buy this book from Amazon
    Ian Jeffrey: Photography a Concise History
    Photography: A Concise History
    Ian Jeffrey

    Beaumont Newall: The History of Photography
    History of Photography - Fifth Edition
    Beaumont Newhall

    Naomi Rosenblum: A World History of Photography
    A World History of Photography
    Naomi Rosenblum

    Mary Warner Marien: Photography: A Cultural History
    Photography: A Cultural History
    Mary Warner Marien
    Click here to buy this book from Amazon
  • Each book has it's own strengths and weaknesses - the Beaumont Newall has gone through multiple editions but over emphasizes the American photographer and is now rather old, the Ian Jeffrey book is better on the photographers from the UK and the monumental French The New History of Photography has a far wider coverage. The books by Naomi Rosenblum (1997), Michael Frizot (1999) and that by Mary Warner Marien (2003) include the latest research and trends and have broadened the coverage to include increasing numbers of photographers from outside Europe and America.
    This site has actually been constructed using hundreds of sources and is developing quickly. Where there are specialized histories of war photography, fashion or architecture these have been particularly helpful.
  • Photographic books of real worth
    Most people know photographs through books but until recently the books themselves were not studied. Recently a number of lavish books have been produced that deal with this with high quality reproductions of the original pages accompanied with explanatory text. These books should be on the shelves of anybody with an interest in photography as essential reference works but also because they contain examples of the very best in book and graphic design incorporating photographs.
  • Books on key photographic books and periodicals

    The Photobook: A History. Volume 1
    Martin Parr (Text); & Gerry Badger (Text)

    The Photobook: A History - Volume 2
    Martin Parr (Author); & Gerry Badger (Author)

    Fotografia Publica: Photography in Print 1919-1939
    Horacio Fernandez (Editor)

    Book of 101 Books, The: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century
    Andrew Roth (Editor); Vince Aletti; Richard Benson; Jeffrey Fraenkel (Contributor); & Daido Moriyama (Contributor)
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