Best Photography History Books

1. The History of Photography

by Beaumont Newhall

Since its first publication in 1937, this lucid and scholarly chronicle of the history of photography has been hailed as the classic work on the subject. No other book and no other author have managed to relate the aesthetic evolution of the art of photography to its technical innovations with such an absorbing combination of clarity, scholarship and enthusiasm. Through more than 300 works by such master photographers as William Henry Fox Talbot, Timothy O…»

2. Photography in Japan 1853-1912

by Terry Bennett

Photography in Japan 1853-1912 is an authoritative and unique visual record of JapanâÄôs metamorphosis from a feudal society to a modern, industrial nation. The 350 old and rare images in this book, most of them published here for the first time, not only chronicle the introduction of photography in Japan, but also demonstrate how early photographic images are vital in helping to understand the dramatic changes that occurred in Japan during the mid-…»

3. A World History of Photography

by Naomi Rosenblum

Encompasses the entire range of the photographic medium, from the camera lucida to up-to-date computer technology, and from Europe and the Americas to the Far East. The text investigates all aspects of photography - aesthetic, documentary, commercial and technical - while placing it in historical context. It includes three technical sections with detailed information about equipment and processes. This edition also updates important new international work…»

4. Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art

by John Szarkowski

Originally published in 1973, this marvelous collection of photographs with accompanying texts by the revered late Museum of Modern Art photography curator John Szarkowski has long been recognized as a classic. Reissued in 1999-with new digital duotones-this volume is now available to a new generation of readers.This is a picture book, and its first purpose is to provide the material for simple delectation," says Szarkowski in his introduction to this…»

5. Photography: The 50 Most Influential Photographers of All Time

by Chris Dickie

In addition to profiling the most important photographers of past and present, this book presents a capsule history of photography and explores significant trends and developments in the field. Brief biographies with identifying photos include Matthew Brady, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, Annie Liebovitz, Richard Avedon, Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and 40 other major figures in portraiture,…»

6. Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography

by Robert Hirsch

Seizing the Light: A Social History of Photography provides a thought-provoking, accurate, and accessible introduction to the photographic arts for all readers. With stunning images and commentary by hundreds of international artists, the text clearly and concisely provides the building blocks necessary to critically explore photographic history from the photographers' eye, an aesthetic point of view.»

7. The History of Japanese Photography

by Anne Tucker

: Over the past 150 years, Japanese photographers have created an impressive body of work that ranges from dignified imperial photographs to sweeping urban panoramas, from early ethereal landscapes to modern urban mysteries. Despite the richness, significance, and variety of this work, however, it has largely been neglected in Western histories of photography. This gorgeous and groundbreaking bookâÄîthe first comprehensive account of Japanese photography…»

8. The Photobook: A History - Volume 2

by Martin Parr, Gerry Badger

Much Anticipated Second Volume of the Story of Photography through the History of the Photobook; Compiled by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger "The Photobook: A History, Volume I, by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, is the most important contribution to the field since modern histories of photography began to appear in the early twentieth century. We can be sure that this book, and its forthcoming second volume, will lead the way to revitalization of thinking and…»

9. Photography: An Illustrated History

by Martin W. Sandler

Photography: An Illustrated History is a captivating account of how photography evolved from labor-intensive daguerrotypes in the mid-1800s to one of the most popular hobbies and respected art forms in the world today. Brimming with black-and-white and color photographs from throughout its multifaceted history, this volume not only documents technological developments, but also the phenomenal effect the craft has had upon journalism, industry, science,…»

10. American Photography

by Miles Orvell

150 years of American photography come alive in this exciting new book, placing it in its cultural context for the first time. Orvell examines this fascinating subject through a wide range of well known and less-well known images. He ranges from portraiture and landscape photography, family albums and memory, and analyses the particularly 'American' way in which American photographers have viewed the world around them. Orvell combines a clear overview of…»

11. The Photograph

by Graham Clarke

How do we read a photograph? In this rich and fascinating work, Graham Clarke gives a clear and incisive account of the photograph's historical development, and elucidates the insights of the most engaging thinkers on the subject, such as Roland Barthes and Susan Sontag. From the first misty "heliograph" taken by Joseph Nicephore Niepce in 1826 to the classic compositions of Cartier-Bresson and Alfred Stieglitz and the striking postmodern strategies of…»

12. The Origins of American Photography: From Daguerreotype to Dry-Plate, 1839-1885: The Hallmark Photographic Collection at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

by Keith F. Davis

"The Origins of American Photography" chronicles the emergence of a new visual paradigm, from the introduction of the daguerreotype in 1839 through the Civil War and the exploration of the West to the rise of popular photography in the 1880s. Beautifully designed and produced, with over 600 reproductions in tritone and four-colour, this important volume features works by all the leading practitioners of the time and by others who remain unknown. Many of…»

13. Photography: A Cultural History

by Mary Warner Marien

For one or two semester courses in the History of Photography. Mary Warner Marien has constructed a richer and more kaleidoscopic account of the history of photography than has previously been available. Her comprehensive survey shows compellingly how photography has sharpened, if not altered forever, our perception of the world. The book was written to introduce students to photography. It does not require that students possess any technical know-how and…»

14. The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography

by Richard Bolton

Photography's great success gives the impression that the major questions that have haunted the medium are now resolved. On the contrary--the most important questions about photography are just beginning to be asked. These fourteen essays, with over 200 illustrations, critically examine prevailing beliefs about the medium and suggest new ways to explain the history of photography. The essays are organized around the questions: What are the social…»

15. Photography: 1900 to the Present

by Diana Emery Hulick, Joseph Marshall

This unique book takes a thematic approach to twentieth century photography by focusing on the major developments of the 20-year periods into which the book is divided rather than on individual photographers. Photography 1900 to the Present presents excerpts from a cross-section of writers in the fields of photographic criticism and history on topics relevant to each period with the overview of each section providing a context for the art and culture of…»

16. A History of Photography: The Musée d'Orsay Collection 1839-1925

by Dominique de Font-Reaulx, Michel Frizot, Anne de Mondenard

This comprehensive book traces the origins and progression of photography from its humble beginnings in daguerreotypes to the gradual mastering of photographic portraits, techniques, and negatives. The wider use of photography in journalism, for documenting architecture and art movements, and its capacity to produce piercing perspectives on the social and political climate of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are all carefully evaluated, as well as…»

17. The Genius of Photography

by Gerry Badger

Accompanying the first major television history of this ever more influential artform, this landmark book explores the key events and the key images that have marked the development of photography. At the heart of the book is a quest to understand what makes a truly great photograph. What is it that makes a photograph by Nan Goldin or Henri Cartier Bresson stand out among the millions of others taken by all of us every single day? "The Genius of…»

18. A History of Women Photographers

by Naomi Rosenblum

Women have had a special relationship with the camera since the advent of photographic technology in the mid-nineteenth century. Photographers celebrated women as their subjects, from intimate family portraits and fashion spreads to artistic photography and nude studies, including Man Ray's Violon d'Ingres. Lesser known--and lesser studied--is the history of women photographers, who continue to make invaluable contributions to this flourishing art form. A…»

19. Re-view: 170 Years of Photography

by Crombie Isobel

This new publication shows remarkable pieces from more than 60 photographers, tracing the history of photography and revealing the richness and diversity of photographic practice and camerawork.»