Beaumont Newhall The History of Photography from 1839 to the Present.
Museum of Modern Art, 320 pages, $40

All of us concerned with photography are indebted to Beaumont Newhall. Directly or indirectly, the author of The History of Photography from 1839 to the Present— originally published in 1937 as a Museum of Modern Art exhibition catalogue titled Photography 1839-1937—has been our teacher. The fifth edition, awaited as a potential clearinghouse for the substantial research carried out in the field during the past decade, has recently been published. For nearly fifty years, writers and curators have either expanded on the subjects he originally researched or filled in the gaps. As John Szarkowski in the acknowledgments to his book The Photographer’s Eye stated: “Finally, any attempt to consider photography critically must acknowledge its basic...


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