Cameras with a purpose
Few works of art are produced in a
vacuum. Instead they rely upon the artist being influenced by, and reacting
against, external stimuli. These elements can either be directly connected to
the creator’s field of endeavour, or be of a more general nature. To understand
fully an artist’s position, one needs to explore the context in which he or she
has been working. To gain insight into the workings of Group M it is necessary
to explore salient aspects of the history of photography. This chapter presents
a brief survey of the medium’s development, both in general, and in Australia
in particular. It concentrates on their chosen area of activity, the
Since its invention in the 1830s
the camera has been used to document the world. Developed as part of the
technological imperative of the Industrial Revolution, it was not surprising
that the initial impulse was for the medium to be seen as a purely mechanical
recorder of reality.
Inspired by the positivist spirit of the age that sought to explain the world
through observation, early photographs showed street scenes, portraits, rural
vistas and sites from foreign lands. Early instances of the reporting of events
were to be seen in the work of Roger Fenton in the Crimean campaign, and
Matthew Brady in the American Civil War.
As the craft developed, the
potential for a more creative approach, achieved by a greater input of the
photographer, became more explicit. Painting, as the most prominent location of
visual aesthetics, was the primary source of influence. After the styles of the
day, landscapes became moody mist-wrapped impressions, portrait sitters stared
ethereally into the camera to show their ‘inner dimension’, whilst other
sitters acted out moralistic or historical tableaux. Tricks in print
developing, such as multiple exposures or created texture, were similarly
called upon to heighten the artistic effect.
Examples such as these, where the idealisation of the subject through
composition or a variety of printing techniques is paramount, have come to be
known by the term ‘pictorialism’.
By the end of the nineteenth
century, the division between the pictorialist approach, and the more
documentary or ‘straight’ one, was well established. However, photo historian
Anne-Marie Willis has sounded a note of caution against seeing this as the
defining debate within the medium. Although speaking of the Australian scene,
her comments have universal application when she suggests the development of
photographic styles was not as simple as one neatly following the last. For
her, this discussion is more fully located within the ranks of the amateur, who
had the time and lack of commercial pressure to debate issues more strongly.
Although amateurs had existed since
the invention of the camera, their ranks were significantly swelled by the
development of the cheap and portable Kodak ‘pocket’ camera in 1885. Not only
did this development lead to an upsurge in camera clubs, it also caused a
division in amateur ranks between ‘serious’ proponents and ‘mere’ snapshooters.
Many of the latter took to their pastime with a fervour akin to “an army of
wild men and women [who] in the first frenzy of camera intoxication...like
savage dogs snap at everything they see.”
The turn of the century saw a
movement towards ‘straight photography’. In its initial stages this trend was sponsored by pictorialists who wished to see
photography evaluated on its own terms. In particular, members of two
influential photography groups, The Brotherhood of the Linked Ring, in England
(formed in 1892), and the Photo-Secession, in America (1902), were involved,
setting up their own exhibition salons.
The founder of Photo-Seccession, Alfred Stieglitz,
played a major role in the following transition from pictorialism
to straight photography by seeking to capture chance “moments of casual life of
the street”. By employing artistic design, without artificial tricks, he
synthesised the aesthetic and more documentary approaches.
This shift was also fostered by changing social concerns, the assimilation of
contemporary avant-garde painting, and greater mobility for photographers
provided by the invention of faster film and more portable equipment. Pictorialism, although “finished as a movement by the mid 1920s”,
has continued to inform the attitudes and methods of certain branches of
photography, for example portraiture, to this day.
Another significant step in the
documentary approach occurred in Paris, where Eugene Atget
took his camera into the streets, and made an exhaustive record of the built
environment. His “reduction [of photography] to [its] bare essentials” was to
have an influence on the future documentary style, although he was probably to
have an even greater effect upon the surrealist photographers of the 1920s and
30s, who were struck by his concentration upon the mundane, and unintentional
whimsy of his empty streets.
A more purposeful
use of photography was made by two Americans, the Danish born Jacob Riis and
Lewis Hine, who utilised the medium to encourage social reform. In the
late nineteenth century Riis, a journalist, took his camera into the slums of
New York to expose ‘how the other half lived’ (the title of his book on the
subject published in 1890). Photos from these expeditions were projected at
lantern-show nights as a way of encouraging philanthropy from his predominantly
In the early years of the twentieth
century Hine, a sociologist, recorded child labour as a way of demonstrating
the need to eradicate the practice. Later he sought to document the “human
aspects of industry”, portraying workers in a heroic light, “in the belief
humanity could prevail over the system”.
In both cases their work did appear
to have a role in stimulating social reform. However more recent analysis has
suggested a subtext to their activities more enmeshed in notions of class
In this scenario Riis appears more concerned in reflecting nineteenth century
notions that moral decay was the cause of poverty. His motivation then, was
less to sponsor an end to poverty, than to reinforce the class
divisions by constructing the poor as the ‘other’ (demonstrated by the title of
his book). His encouragement of middle-class philanthropy was similarly more
sponsored by his belief that this would lead to one’s self-improvement, than
the good it may do the poor.
Hence the impulse to provide social reform often involved a reciprocal
poverty was for many social minded members of the middle class a revelation that
gave them a place in the world. They wanted to not only show how the other half
lived, but to forge personal understanding as a foundation to social
Hine appears to have been less
patronising in his aims, but often found his work put to similar ends as a
result of the way it was used by the organisations he was working for. This
aside, Hine is still referred to as the father of documentary photography. This
is due to his desire to “illuminate the world and foster knowledge,
understanding and sympathy” in viewers.
In his words: “I wanted to show the things that had to be corrected. I wanted
to show the things that had to be appreciated.”
The growing interest in human and
urban themes was to a significant degree sponsored by the concerns of
modernism, which looked away from the redemptive qualities of nature and
divinity, and placed more faith in human inspired technology, art and ethics. This
movement, which had so transformed painting in the late nineteenth century had, in its post-WWI incarnation, a dramatic effect
upon photography. Whilst its perceptual side emphasised elements such as sharp
focus, angularity, technology and contrasting light and shade,
its conceptual side, buoyed by a spirit of post-war idealism, sought to affirm
humanity. In particular it focussed on the “lives of the common subject” as a
way of countering the “leaching away of individuality” by the “vastness and
complexity of modern life.”
The movement was especially strong
in Weimar Germany and its human concerns can be seen in the portraits of Auguste Sander. The
above interests were reflected in works appearing in the relatively new
publishing medium of the picture magazine. Beginning in Germany, it is probably
better known through the American publications Life and Look. Further
improvements in photographic technology, including the invention of the
‘modern’ 35mm SLR camera and faster film, enabled a growing number of photo-journalists to record life more candidly.
One popular way that work was printed was as a series of photographs, known as
a ‘photo-essay’, strikingly seen in the work of Robert Capa
on the Spanish Civil War, or Brassai on Parisian night life.
The English-speaking world was
similarly concerned with humanist imperatives, but tied them more tightly with
a push for social reform. Although America took the lead, sponsored by the rise
of state liberalism, a
significant influence was made by the British film maker,
John Grierson. In the 1920s he coined the word ‘documentary’ and produced a
virtual manifesto on its potential.
There was a belief that “[the] social truths of the world could be captured on
film”, which when broadcast to the world could alert people to injustices, or
reflect to them inspiring lives. 
Importantly, these documentarians tended to be “reformists rather than
radicals”, interested in working within institutions to achieve their ends, not
in overthrowing them.
In the US, the liberal reformist
ideology reached its apogee with the programmes and propaganda instigated by
the Roosevelt administration’s New Deal of the 1930s. Given the links that
photographers, such as Riis and Hine, had made between the medium and social
reform, it was not surprising to find photography playing a prominent part.
Indeed it was at this time that the most significant body of documentary
photographs was created by photographers in the employ of the Farm Security
Charged with producing a record of the depressed conditions in rural America,
this group, under the direction of economist and administrator Roy Stryker, has
traditionally been seen as the pre-eminent executors of the documentary
approach, photographing the hard conditions they found with honesty and
Stryker’s instructions to his
charges (whose roll call now reads like an honour board of documentary
photography—Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Carl Mydans,
Marion Post Wolcott and so on) were to research a subject in-depth before
seeking to document it.
In the field, the FSA photographers sought, in the words of Lange: “not to
molest, tamper, or arrange”.
The pictures were widely published, and used as part of travelling exhibits to
alert Americans to the rural plight, but also to demonstrate the positive
activity of the administration.
The resultant body of images has been lauded for being “honest pictures about
They were considered to have highlighted photography’s ability to disseminate
information to the masses, thereby playing a part in the democratic process to
allow for informed discussion. This
therefore has been considered to be “photography with a purpose”.
Over the past twenty years, as with
Riis and Hine, various criticisms of the project have surfaced. Whilst its role
was always to influence public opinion, voices have been raised to suggest the
work was used more for propaganda by an administration adept at media
management to “justify social reform already under way”.
At a deeper level, the portrayal of many of the subjects as possessing a
dignity in spite of their reduced circumstances has been criticised as another
way of portraying them as the ‘other’. If they seem to have dignity despite
their situation, so the idea runs, then it provides a reassurance to the urban
middle classes that the subjects are poor, but happy.
Finally, under the harsh glare of post-modernism’s deconstruction of
objectivity, it has been suggested that this was as much a created discourse as
the truth. The world which the FSA photographers recorded was thus a vision of
‘lost small-town America’ created by focussing on the vernacular, rather than
the modern, and then further enhanced by Stryker’s biased selection of shots.
With the outbreak of WWII,
photography’s links to propaganda became more overt. This was clearly seen in
two exhibitions produced by the photographer Edward Steichen for the Museum of
Modern Art in New York, Power in the
Pacific (1942), and the Road to
Victory (1945). Steichen placed more emphasis on the communicative aspects
of photography than the artistic, constructing a visual narrative as opposed to
a collection of discrete images. The end result was a display
which more resembled a magazine photo-essay transferred to the walls of
a gallery. A variety of images, some from areas not connected with the war
(such as the FSA), were recropped, recaptioned and enlarged to mural size (as large as 10’x
40’). They were then displayed flush mounted, unmatted
and without glass. The cumulative effect was “photographs used as a force”
which didn’t just “sit quietly on the walls...but jut[ted]
out...[and] assault[ed] your vision”.
Much of the exhibition’s presence was the work of designer Herbert Bayer, who
had imbibed the psychology of advertising, and sought to “persuade and lead
[the viewer] to a planned and direct reaction”.
After the war, the success of these
two displays encouraged Steichen to use a similar format to produce what has
reputedly been the most popular exhibition of photography ever, The Family of Man.
Steichen brought together over 500 images of people worldwide engaged in basic
human experiences: birth, love, work, death and so on. The message
was that these common activities were what link humanity and surmount
whatever regional or ethnic differences exist. Coming after a major war, and in
the shadow of nuclear Armageddon, they were life affirming
notions, undoubtedly sponsored by a pressing need to “affirm [a sense of] what
it is to be human”.
In this there is clearly a similarity to the wellsprings of the documentary
trend after WWI. They also “follow[ed] a tradition
[during] the 1930s and 40s [of] using photos to illustrate populist themes
celebrating the triumph of unity over diversity”.
Just as important in the exhibition’s overall statement as its theme, was its
presentation. It too featured large mural-size prints, arranged in ‘narrative
chains’, and embellished by a variety of visual tricks: such as a mirror placed
amongst a variety of portraits to locate the viewer among them.
Even more striking than its
popularity has been the level of sustained criticism which
the exhibition has received, primarily in the last twenty years. Its central message of the unity of all has been challenged by
those who consider it is primarily a post-war, middle-class, American
view on humanity being preached. Its subtext, they argue, promotes the nuclear
family, middle-class ideals and Western democracy.
Photographic theorist Allan Sekula has further made
the case for it being more than just an expression of cold war ideology, but an
active tool in America’s struggle for the hearts and minds of the unaligned.
Other criticisms have been made of its overly sentimental approach, perhaps
exemplified by Eugene Smith’s final image of two children walking hand in hand
out of a tunnel of dark overgrowth into a sunlit garden.
It was no doubt images such as this which provoked the expressionist
photographer Minor White to observe of the exhibition: “How quickly the milk of
human kindness turns to schmaltz!”. Even the doyen of
documentary photography, Walker Evans, decried it as “bogus heartfeeling”.
It has also been attacked by cultural commentators, such as W.T. L’hamon and James Guimond, for
being a part of the conservative agenda of the time—a photographic
statement akin to the paintings of Norman Rockwell, or the films of Frank
Finally its pretensions to proclaim a universal message can be read as a
product of the modernist fascination with the redemptive quality of grand
unifying world views—the meta-narratives of Jean-Franciois
Lyotard’s thought—which he claims have been
fragmented in the postmodern age.
Family of Man has been seen as bringing down the curtain on the objective,
basically optimistic, essentially public photography of before and just after
WWII. From the 1950s, the field has come to be increasingly dominated by informal,
sometimes inscrutable work, often produced for the photographer first, and for
his audience second. This has been the case even where documentary themes have
been explored, and can be seen in the work of Robert Frank and Diane Arbus.
Frank, a Swiss photographer, toured
the US in the mid-1950s, at a time when the American Dream, in all its sugarcoated, tinsel decorated glory, was rampant. As an
outsider he was more aware of the coarse underbelly which
lay beneath it. Rather than the reassuring images of the FSA or The Family of Man, he produced a record
of the banality of middle-class existence and the ‘quiet desperation’ of the
In the process he revitalised American photography by employing a variety of
styles, idioms and techniques, and photographing with less concern for the
Arbus also shared this personal
stance, replacing social concerns with psychological ones. In her portraits of
the gross and the bizarre (“freaky things” as she described them), she sought
to subvert the tenets of the American Dream, especially the middle-class
nuclear family, and to stress the difference between subject and viewer, rather
than seeking what they had in common.
The documentary strand has remained
active to this day, although it is now more often to be found in the work of
photo-journalists covering areas of human unrest or tragedy. One example of a latterday attempt to proselytise the cause has been the
International Fund for Concerned Photography (IFCP), founded by Cornell Capa (son of Robert) in 1966. This non-profit organisation
sought to “encourage and assist photographers...who were vitally concerned with
their life and times”. It mounted a variety of exhibitions and produced a
number of books. In his preface to one of them, Associate Editor Michael Edelson sums up the philosophy of the field succinctly. He
suggests that it was the photographer’s “concern for life which [was] their
bond”; be they recording man’s inhumanity to man, or revealing the beauty of
nature, or the human form. In essence, documentary photographers are
“vulnerable human beings who are extraordinarily sensitised to the point of
being concerned photographers”.
The first photographers in
Australia arrived in the 1840s, although it was not until after the goldrushes of the 1850s that they were to be found in
Photography had a particularly potent role to play in a country being colonised
by a distant power. On a superficial level it allowed records of people and
places to be sent back home, but its uses went deeper than this. By
photographing the land and the native population, the colonial photographer was
claiming a form of sovereignty over this ‘new’ world, seeking to “lay symbolic
claim to the landscape, tame the unfamiliar and celebrate the familiar in an
The penchant for the misty pictorialist landscape, as strong in Australia as
elsewhere, is an example of this transforming of the perceived ‘harsh’
landscape into more muted English conditions.
As the country developed,
photography was a useful means of recording one’s own success, as well as
broadcasting a sense of civic pride to the world. Photographers, such as Henry
Merlin and Charles Bayliss, exploited these urges
producing shop by shop records of urban streets, with
proud owners before them, and more general urban scenes meant to advertise the
development of the colony.
Documentation, rather than the documentary, was the mainstay of photographic
work in the colony. It is true that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries slums of Sydney were photographically recorded, but these were part
of projects to relieve poverty through urban renewal, rather than by direct
The twentieth century saw a similar
interest in modernist concerns here as overseas, especially in the professional
sphere, where the movement’s attributes were appropriate to both advertising
and fashion photography.
Pictorialism however continued to persevere, particularly in the salons and
amateur ranks, where adherents saw its use of fine art aesthetics as a way to
elevate the craft.
As the photographer Jack Cato remembered the style was a “vital and exciting…revolution”
allowing “freedom from...dull formalism”.
Early in the century, Harold
Cazneaux synthesised the two streams, combining the romance of pictorialism with urban locales in a similar fashion to
Cazneaux however remained traditional in his use of abstraction. It was left to
those of the upcoming generation, foremost among them Max Dupain and Lawrence
Le Guay, to fully exploit the style.
It was also Dupain who formed the Contemporary Camera Group in 1938, an
exclusive organisation of artists and photographers whose manifesto was to seek
the “original thought of the living moment”.
Full blown documentary work really
only began during WWII. Prior to this time there had been various
anthropological projects to record Aborigines, but their agenda was often that
of specimen collecting.
Frank Hurley had been active as a war photographer in WWI, but he adopted a
more pictorialist approach, combining images in the one print.
Thus it was not until the heroic shots of workers made by Edward Cranston
during WWII, that Australia produced photographs which
sought to have a “direct, emotional appeal to a mass audience”.
Immediately after the war there was
a significant interest by Australian professionals in the documentary approach.
Whilst its sources are various, the sense of idealism and ‘spirit of
reconstruction’ which were responsible for The
Family of Man were clearly underlying much of the appeal. Other reasons
were a dissatisfaction with of the popular press’s failure to rise above
detailing “the famous, scandal and trivia”, and the continued prevalence of pictorialism in the salons.
Photographers involved included Dupain, David Moore, Geoffrey Powell, David
Potts and Axel Poignant. Much of this activity was located in Sydney and was
especially focussed in the pages of the Le Guay
edited Contemporary Photography.
Dupain summed up the feeling in 1948 by stating:
photography must do more than entertain, it must incite thought and, by its
clear statements of actuality, cultivate a sympathetic understanding of men and
women and the life they choose to create and live.
He also formed a loose group of
like-minded professionals, including Potts and Poignant, in 1954. They produced
a group exhibition 6 Photographers in
1955. Its stated aim was to make “unstaged,
spontaneous and personal recordings of observed things and human behaviour”. 
Unfortunately as the 1950s
progressed it became harder for professional photographers to combine such
idealistic views with the demands of commercial work. This would have been less
of a problem if there had been easy outlets for personal work, but with salons
more interested in pictorialism, and galleries not
recognising photography as an artform, practitioners wishing to work in a
documentary style had few options. Some
were forced out of the style, others such as Moore and Potts moved overseas,
where they worked as photo-journalists. In the 1960s,
a number of professional photographers found commissioned work for large companies a way of keeping an element of the documentary in
their work. Given that the bottom line was promotion rather than comment
though, these activities have been open to criticism. One photographer who
succeeded in walking the tightrope better than most was Wolfgang Sievers. His Bauhaus-formed philosophy, which sought a
positive interaction between man and machine, was tailor-made to see him
produce work which was aesthetically impressive,
thematically pure and commercially satisfying.
As the above demonstrates, the role
of the professional in Australian photographic history has been closely documented.
That of the amateur, on the other hand, has received much less attention.
What it has garnered has often been presented from the perspective of the
professional, who has been seen as largely propelling innovation within the
medium. Yet, as Green has asserted, amateurs “work within a cultural ambience
of their own”.
To judge them monolithically from the ‘great man’ perspective then, will be to
ensure the results are skewed. Speaking of the regular criticisms of salon
photography made in Contemporary Photography,
Willis points out that the potential role for the amateur was never pursued in
was always of subject matter and treatment, hardly ever of the functions of
photography or of other means of circulating images besides the salons and
Amateurism during the post-war
period did become more insular and conservative, and certainly showed a
preference for the cliched realms of soft focus nudes, pictorialist landscapes
and cute children.
However this did not apply to all. In particular, where the idealism of
professionals foundered on the need to remain commercial, amateurs were
potentially more capable of following their hearts. Consequently, at a time
when professionals were folding their tents and reluctantly leaving the
documentary arena, a group of amateurs were beginning
to crusade for its further development. This group, which became Group M, began
in the mid-1950s as the Moggs Creek Clickers. Having explored the photographic
background relevant to their development, it is to them that we now turn.
>>> Chapter Two
I., Photography: A Concise History (Thames &
Hudson, London, 1981), p. 10; Freund, G., Photography
& Society (David R. Godine, Boston, 1980), p.
Gael Newton makes the intriguing point that the basic photographic
technology had been in existence since the early eighteenth century. Hence, she
suggests that the reason photography was developed in the early nineteenth
century had as much to do with the prevailing social conditions as the
scientific. Newton, G., Shades of Light: Photography and Australia 1839-1988 (Australian
National Gallery and Collins Australia, Sydney, 1988), pp. xi-xii.
Jeffrey, Concise, pp. 48,
Centre for Photography (ICP) (Eds.), The
Encyclopaedia of Photography (Pound Press, New York, 1984), p. 396.
Australia: A History of Photography (Angus & Robertson, North Ryde,
1988), pp. 175-76.
Jeffries, ‘serious’ member of the Clifton Hill Camera Club in Emmett, F., “The
Serious Amateurs and the Black Art: Social Aspects of Australian Amateur
Photography 1897-1914” (BA Thesis, Monash University, 1993), p. 13. See also
Jay, B., “The Photographer as Aggressor” in Featherstone, D., (ed.) Observations (Friends of Photography,
Carmel, 1984), pp. 7-23, which details the trend
Encyclopaedia, pp. 307, 394, 396.
Jeffrey, Concise, pp 100. For examples see: Stieglitz A., Alfred Stieglitz (Gordon Fraser, London,
Concise, p. 101; ICP, Encyclopaedia, p. 397.
Encyclopaedia, p. 397.
Beaumont-Maillet, L., Atget’s Paris (Thames & Hudson, London, 1993), p. 23. See also Jeffrey, Concise,
Stange, M., Symbols
of Ideal Life: Social Documentary Photography in America 1890-1950
(Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1989), p. 4.
Denzer, K., “The Documentary Imagination of Lewis Hine” History Today Vol. 38, August 1988, pp.
49-50; quote p. 50; Jeffrey, Concise,
particularly Stange, Symbols, and Stein, S., “Making Connections with the Camera:
Photography and Social Mobility in the Work of Jacob Riis”, Afterimage, May 1983.
pp. 4, 5, 13, 23. He also details recent research which
suggests many of Riis’ more famous photographs were in fact taken by others, p.
Denzer, “Hine”, p. 55.
p. 49; Denzer, “Hine”, pp. 49-50; quote p. 50.
in ICP, Encyclopaedia, p. 151.
Concise, p. 104; Sarup,
M., An Introductory Guide to
Post-Structuralism and Post Modernism (Harvester Wheatsheaf,
Hemel Hempstead, 1988), p. 130.
Shades, pp. 105-7; Willis, Picturing, p. 156.
Jeffrey, Concise p. 119; Freund, Society, p. 149; Willis, Picturing, p. 191.
Jeffrey, Concise, pp.
130-33. For examples see: Sander, A., Auguste Sander (Gordon
Fraser, London, 1977).
SLR, or Single Lens Reflex camera, allowed the photographer to view his or her
potential shot through the lens itself, rather than a separate viewfinder as was the case previously. This enabled focus,
distortion and exposure to be better gauged.
Jeffrey, Concise, pp.
178-188. For examples see: Whelan, R., & Capa,
C., (Eds.) Robert Capa
Photographs (Faber, London, 1985), and Brassai, The Secret Paris of the 1930s (Thames
& Hudson, London, 1976).
"In, around and afterthoughts (on documentary photography)" Bolton,
R. (Ed.), The Contest of Meaning:
Critical Histories of Photography (MIT Press, Cambridge Mass., 1989), p.
J., Grierson on Documentary (Faber , London, 1979); Newall, B.,
"A Backward Glance at Documentary" in Featherstone, D., (Ed.) Observations (Friends of Photography,
Carmel, 1984), pp. 1-2.
Picturing, p. 140.
Some 720,000 photographs in all taken between 1935 and 1942.
an example of a triumphalist appreciation see Severin,
W., “Photographic Documentation by the Farm Security Administration”, 1935-1942 (MA Thesis, University of
Missouri, 1959). For examples of the photos themselves see: Stryker, R., &
Wood, N., In This Proud Land. America 1935-43 as seen in the FSA Photographs (New York Graphic Society, Greenwich, 1973).
Severin, “Documentation”, p. 12.
in Ibid., p.
Ibid., p. 17;
Daniel, P. et al, Official Images: New
Deal Photography (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, 1987), p. ix; Stange, M., “The Record Itself” in Daniel, Official, p. 1.
Tugwell, the then Assistant Secretary for Agriculture
and Stryker’s boss, in Severin, “Documentation”, p.
Hicks, an executive editor of Life magazine,
in Ibid., p. 33.
Ibid., p. 37; Sontag, S., On
Photography (Penguin, New York, 1977), p. 61.
Sontag, Photography, p. 62.
pp. 129-30; Tagg, J., Essays on Photographies and Histories
(University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1988), pp. 169-70.
Steichen and photo-journalist Ralph Steiner in Green,
J., American Photography: a Critical
History 1945-the Present (Abrams, New York, 1984), p. 40. Ideas: Ibid., pp.
40-42; Phillips, C., “The Judgement Seat of Photography” in Bolton, R., (ed.), The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories
of Photography (MIT Press, Cambridge Mass., 1989), pp. 27-31. Of note were
FSA images of faces originally defiant against rural hardship now recaptioned to redirect their defiance towards the
in Phillips, “Judgement”, p. 25.
3,000 patrons a day in New York, and 9 Million, in 40
countries worldwide. Green, American, pp. 48.
with photo-journalist Peter Davis 1/8/95, 1/310-20.
See also Phillips, “Judgement”, p. 28.
Guimond, J., American
Photography and the American Dream (University of North Carolina Press,
Chapel Hill, 1991), p. 163.
“Judgement”, p. 31; Stange, Symbols, p. 136.
for example: Sekula, A., “The Traffic in Photographs”
in Art Journal No. 41, Spring 1981,
pp. 84-109; Barthes, R., Mythologies
(Noonday Press, New York, 1972/93), pp. 100-1 & Sontag, Photography, p. 33.
Sekula, “Traffic”, pp. 20-21. He contends that it was used
by the American government to counter Russian cultural exports in much the same
way as Eva Cockcroft claims Abstract Expressionism was. See Cockcroft, E.,
“Abstract Expressionism, Weapon of the Cold War” Artforum (New York) 12:10, June 1974, pp. 39-41.
E., (ed.), The Family of Man (Museum
of Modern Art, New York, 1955), p. 192; Green, American, p. 37.
Both in Green, American,
pp. 70 & 82.
L’hamon, W., Deliberate
Speed, The Origins of a Cultural Style in the American 1950s (Smithsonian
Institution Press, Washington, 1990), pp. 137, 147; Guimond, Dream, p. 162. See
also Green, American, p. 51.
Sarup, Guide, pp.
Jeffrey, Concise, p. 204; Green, American, p. 118. For examples see:
Frank, R., The Americans (Aperture,
New York, 1978); Arbus, D., Diane Arbus (Aperture, New York, 1973).
Green, American, pp.
Ibid., pp, 90-91; Guimond, Dream, pp. 147-48.
Green, American, pp.
118-19; Guimond, Dream,
Edelson in, Capa, C., (Ed.) The Concerned Photographer 2(Grossman
Publishers, New York, 1972) Preface (no pp). In 1974
the ICFP was subsumed into another Capa founded
organisation: the International Centre for Photography. See ICP, Encyclopaedia, pp. 151-2.
Willis, Picturing, pp. 7
Shades, p. 73.
Willis, Picturing, pp.
58, 63, 68, 71. For an in-depth catalogue see Burke, K., Gold and Silver: An Album of Hill End and
Gulgong Photographs from the Holterman Collection
(Heinemann, Melbourne, 1973). One must also mention the importance of Bernard Holterman, who had made a fortune on the goldfields, in
instigating and underwriting much of this project.
Picturing, p. 96. A good example is
Kelly, M., Faces in the Street: William
Street 1916 (Doak Press, Paddington, 1982).
Picturing, p. 130.
“Amateurs”, p. 2.
in Newton, G., Silver and Grey (Angus
& Robertson, Sydney, 1980), Introduction, p. 5 (no pp).
In praise of pictorialism against the inroads of
‘straight photography’ see also the recollections of the English photographer
Hilda Newby who wrote in 1945: “Photography these days is simply trying to be
alert and no funny business. No chancy shots for the showcase. No daring
adventures with the spotlight. No wandering into the ethereal wilderness of
soft focus. Oh no!” in Hall, B., Australian
Women Photographers 1840-1960 (Greenhouse Press, Richmond, 1986), p. 109.
Picturing, p. 136. Newton, Shades, p. 105.
Newton, Silver, Intro, p. 5.
Picturing, pp. 205-13.
in Newton, Silver, Intro, p. 8.
Newton, Shades, p. 130.
Silver, Intro, pp. 8-9. It is
indicative of the place held by photography that when the Family of Man toured in 1959, its place of exhibition in Melbourne
was a car salesroom. It should be noted though that there were not a lot of
formal venues for most art forms at this time.
with Wolfgang Sievers 10/8/95, 1/145-60; Willis, Picturing, p. 196.
exception is Emmett, “Amateurs”, which deliberately sets out to redress the
Green, American, p. 39.
Picturing, pp. 193-94.