Blue Notes in Black and White
by Benjamin Cawthra
University of Chicago Press, 2011
Miles Davis, supremely cool behind his shades. Billie Holiday, eyes closed and head tilted back in full cry. John Coltrane, one hand behind his neck and a finger held pensively to his lips. These iconic images have captivated jazz fans nearly as much as the music has. Jazz photographs are visual landmarks in American history, acting as both a reflection and a vital part of African American culture in a time of immense upheaval, conflict, and celebration. Charting the development of jazz photography from the swing era of the 1930s to the rise of black nationalism in the ’60s, Blue Notes in Black and White is the first of its kind: a fascinating account of the partnership between two of the twentieth century’s most innovative art forms.
 
Benjamin Cawthra introduces us to the great jazz photographers—including Gjon Mili, William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Francis Wolff, Roy DeCarava, and William Claxton—and their struggles, hustles, styles, and creative visions. We also meet their legendary subjects, such as Duke Ellington, sweating through a late-night jam session for the troops during World War II, and Dizzy Gillespie, stylish in beret, glasses, and goatee. Cawthra shows us the connections between the photographers, art directors, editors, and record producers who crafted a look for jazz that would sell magazines and albums. And on the other side of the lens, he explores how the musicians shaped their public images to further their own financial and political goals.
 
This mixture of art, commerce, and racial politics resulted in a rich visual legacy that is vividly on display in Blue Notes in Black and White. Beyond illuminating the aesthetic power of these images, Cawthra ultimately shows how jazz and its imagery served a crucial function in the struggle for civil rights, making African Americans proudly, powerfully visible.
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Errant Modernism
by Esther Gabara
Duke University Press, 2008
Making a vital contribution to the understanding of Latin American modernism, Esther Gabara rethinks the role of photography in the Brazilian and Mexican avant-garde movements of the 1920s and 1930s. During these decades, intellectuals in Mexico and Brazil were deeply engaged with photography. Authors who are now canonical figures in the two countries’ literary traditions looked at modern life through the camera in a variety of ways. Mário de Andrade, known as the “pope” of Brazilian modernism, took and collected hundreds of photographs. Salvador Novo, a major Mexican writer, meditated on the medium’s aesthetic potential as “the prodigal daughter of the fine arts.” Intellectuals acted as tourists and ethnographers, and their images and texts circulated in popular mass media, sharing the page with photographs of the New Woman. In this richly illustrated study, Gabara introduces the concept of a modernist “ethos” to illuminate the intertwining of aesthetic innovation and ethical concerns in the work of leading Brazilian and Mexican literary figures, who were also photographers, art critics, and contributors to illustrated magazines during the 1920s and 1930s.

Gabara argues that Brazilian and Mexican modernists deliberately made photography err: they made this privileged medium of modern representation simultaneously wander and work against its apparent perfection. They flouted the conventions of mainstream modernism so that their aesthetics registered an ethical dimension. Their photographic modernism strayed, dragging along the baggage of modernity lived in a postcolonial site. Through their “errant modernism,” avant-garde writers and photographers critiqued the colonial history of Latin America and its twentieth-century formations.

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Photography and Italy
by Maria Antonella Pelizzari
Reaktion Books, 2011

In this beautifully illustrated book Maria Antonella Pelizzari traces the history of photography in Italy from its beginnings to the present as she guides us through the history of Italy and its ancient sites and Renaissance landmarks.

Pelizzari specifically considers the role of photography in the formation of Italian national identity during times of political struggle, such as the lead up to Unification in 1860, and later in the nationalist wars of Mussolini’s regime. While many Italians and foreigners— such as Fratelli Alinari or Carlo Ponti, John Ruskin or Kit Talbot—focused their lenses on architectural masterpieces, others documented the changing times and political heroes, creating icons of figures such as Garibaldi and the brigands. Pelizzari’s exploration of Italian visual traditions also includes the photographic collages of Bruno Munari, the neorealist work of photographers such as Franco Pinna, the bold stylized compositions of Mario Giacomelli, and the controversial images created by Oliviero Toscani for Benetton advertising in the 1980s.

Featuring unpublished works and a rare selection of over one hundred images, this book will appeal to art collectors and students of art history and Italian culture.

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Shooting from the Hip
by Patricia Vettel-Becker
University of Minnesota Press, 2005
In Shooting from the Hip, Patricia Vettel-Becker reveals how photography helped to reconstruct and redefine the American idea of masculinity after the traumas of World War II. She argues that from 1945 to 1960 photography became increasingly concerned with restoring the male body and psyche, glorifying traditional masculinity - cowboys, boxers, athletes, military men - while treading carefully in an increasingly homophobic Cold War climate. Examining photojournalism as well as art and fashion photography, Shooting from the Hip finds in the crisp images of postwar photography five models of masculinity - the breadwinner, the action hero, the tough guy, the playboy, and the rebel. Vettel- Becker shows how the professionalization of photography itself was an attempt by male photographers to identify themselves as breadwinners. She goes on to analyze combat photography, exposing its valorization of action, subjugation of the enemy, and the use of the blurred shot to signify credibility. She links street photography - heir to Depression-era social documentary - with hard-boiled crime photography, exemplified in the works of William Klein and Weegee. And sexualized fashion models and their relationships with photographers, such as Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, fuel the ideal of the consummate playboy. Finally, Vettel-Becker demonstrates the authentic and sometimes rebellious nature of the male body as presented by sports photographers and others influenced by the Beat generation, including Robert Frank and Bruce Davidson. Taking a wide view of postwar photography, Vettel-Becker presents it as the triumph of a new form of modernist photography, centered on individual expression and the seductive image of the male body, and stimulated by a quest for the existential truth of masculinity.
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The New Woman International
edited by Elizabeth Otto and Vanessa Rocco
University of Michigan Press, 2011
"In The New Woman International, editors Elizabeth Otto and Vanessa Rocco have gathered a group of intellectually stimulating and provocative essays that present the emergence, both tentative and triumphant, of this new global icon and her increasingly multicultural image. Written largely by historians of art and film, these essays emphasize visual analysis of the photographic and film media that carried the new woman's influential message."
---Norma Broude, American University



"The New Woman International focuses on the New Woman not simply as an image to be analyzed but also as a producer of images and text. This groundbreaking anthology represents a theoretically sophisticated set of essays that thoroughly examine the phenomenon of the New Woman in previously unexplored ways."
---Sarah E. Chinn, Hunter College, CUNY



Images of flappers, garçonnes, Modern Girls, neue Frauen, and trampky---all embodiments of the dashing New Woman---symbolized an expanded public role for women from the suffragist era through the dawn of 1960s feminism. Chronicling nearly a century of global challenges to gender norms, The New Woman International: Representations in Photography and Film from the 1870s through the 1960s is the first book to examine modern femininity's ongoing relationship with the nineteenth and twentieth centuries' most influential new media: photography and film. This volume examines the ways in which novel ideas about women's roles in society and politics were disseminated through these technological media, and it probes the significance of radical changes in female fashion, appearance, and sexual identity. Additionally, these original essays explore the manner in which New Women artists used photography and film to respond creatively to gendered stereotypes and to reconceive of ways of being a woman in a rapidly modernizing world.



The New Woman International brings together different generations of scholars and curators who are experts in gender, photography, literature, mass media, and film to analyze the New Woman from her inception in the later nineteenth century through her full development in the interwar period, and the expansion of her forms in subsequent decades. Arranged both chronologically and thematically, these essays show how controversial female ideals figured in discourses including those on gender norms, race, technology, sexuality, female agency, science, media representation, modernism, commercial culture, internationalism, colonialism, and transnational modernity. In exploring these topics through images that range from montages to newspapers' halftone prints to film stills, this book investigates the terms of gendered representation as a process in which women were as much agents as allegories. Inaugurating a new chapter in the scholarship of representation and New Womanhood and spanning North America, Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, and the colonial contexts of Africa and the Pacific, this volume reveals the ways in which a feminine ideal circled the globe to be translated into numerous visual languages.



With a foreword from the eminent feminist art historian Linda Nochlin, this collection includes contributions by Jan Bardsley, Matthew Biro, Gianna Carotenuto, Melody Davis, Kristine Harris, Karla Huebner, Kristen Lubben, Maria Makela, Elizabeth Otto, Martha H. Patterson, Vanessa Rocco, Clare I. Rogan, Despina Stratigakos, Brett M. Van Hoesen, Kathleen M. Vernon, and Lisa Jaye Young.



DIGITALCULTUREBOOKS: a collaborative imprint of the University of Michigan Press and the University of Michigan Library

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Image Matters
by Tina M. Campt
Duke University Press, 2012
In Image Matters, Tina M. Campt traces the emergence of a black European subject by examining how specific black European communities used family photography to create forms of identification and community. At the heart of Campt's study are two photographic archives, one composed primarily of snapshots of black German families taken between 1900 and 1945, and the other assembled from studio portraits of West Indian migrants to Birmingham, England, taken between 1948 and 1960. Campt shows how these photographs conveyed profound aspirations to forms of national and cultural belonging. In the process, she engages a host of contemporary issues, including the recoverability of non-stereotypical life stories of black people, especially in Europe, and their impact on our understanding of difference within diaspora; the relevance and theoretical approachability of domestic, vernacular photography; and the relationship between affect and photography. Campt places special emphasis on the tactile and sonic registers of family photographs, and she uses them to read the complexity of "race" in visual signs and to highlight the inseparability of gender and sexuality from any analysis of race and class. Image Matters is an extraordinary reflection on what vernacular photography enabled black Europeans to say about themselves and their communities.
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Spoken Image
by Clive Scott
Reaktion Books, 1999
Language has always been central to the meaning and exploitation of photographic images. However, the various types and "styles" of language associated with different photographic genres have been largely overlooked. This book considers the nature of photography, examining the language used in titles, captions and commentaries, particularly as they relate to documentary photography, photojournalism and fashion photography.

The Spoken Image addresses the question of how the photograph communicates its message, with or without the aid of language. The book looks at the work of film-makers such as Antonioni and Greenaway to contrast filmic methods of narration with those of photography. Scott concludes that photography has arrived at a level of communicative sophistication equal to that of modern textual narratives, in conjunction with which it often works.
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Photography on the Color Line
by Shawn Michelle Smith
Duke University Press, 2004
Through a rich interpretation of the remarkable photographs W. E. B. Du Bois compiled for the American Negro Exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition, Shawn Michelle Smith reveals the visual dimension of the color line that Du Bois famously called “the problem of the twentieth century.” Du Bois’s prize-winning exhibit consisted of three albums together containing 363 black-and-white photographs, mostly of middle-class African Americans from Atlanta and other parts of Georgia. Smith provides an extensive analysis of the images, the antiracist message Du Bois conveyed by collecting and displaying them, and their connection to his critical thought. She contends that Du Bois was an early visual theorist of race and racism and demonstrates how such an understanding makes the important concepts he developed—including double consciousness, the color line, the Veil, and second sight—available to visual culture and African American studies scholars in powerful new ways.

Smith reads Du Bois’s photographs in relation to other turn-of-the-century images such as scientific typologies, criminal mugshots, racist caricatures, and lynching photographs. By juxtaposing these images with reproductions from Du Bois’s exhibition archive, Smith shows how Du Bois deliberately challenged racist representations of African Americans. Emphasizing the importance of comparing multiple visual archives, Photography on the Color Line reinvigorates understandings of the stakes of representation and the fundamental connections between race and visual culture in the United States.

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