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Daval, Jean-Luc. PHOTOGRAPHY: HISTORY OF AN ART. New York City, NY: Rizzoli, 1982. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 268 pages. Fine/Fine.

Pioneering and illuminating account on subject. The first appearance of the title in English. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. An elegant production by Rizzoli: Oversize-volume format. Cloth boards with titles on cover and spine, as issued. Photographs by various contributors. Text by Jean-Luc Daval. In pictorial DJ with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Presents one of the most absorbing cultural histories ever written on an inexhaustible subject. With its emphasis on the evolution of photography in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the story of photography's growth as a medium of creative expression is told by the great Jean-Luc Daval with panache and meticulous attention to detail. His critical guidepost is Walter Benjamin, the first great critic of photography, who acutely observed that, "Subtle distinctions have been pointlessly made in the effort to decide whether or not photography is an art. What has not been asked is whether this very invention has not transformed the whole character of art itself" (Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction"). Benjamin ultimately saw photography as the new art, not necessarily for the better, because it signalled the complete triumph of technology over the "handmade" work of art, the decisive displacement by an infinitely reproducible medium of any established art form. Daval's account is much more sympathetic and argues for the considerable and, in some instances, truly remarkable artistic breakthroughs that were achieved through photography. A "must-have" title for photography collectors. This title has been out-of-print for a very long time and is now collectible. This copy is in fine condition, with every page in clean and unread condition. A scarce copy thus. 238 black-and-white, 90 full-color reproductions. One of the most important photography scholars of the 20th century. A fine copy. . ISBN 0847804607. $50.00

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