Photography 1944

Those who do know their history are amused at how often it repeats itself anyway. Our current technological revolution is not the first time art and technology have come together in new and exciting way. In 1944, Popular Photography magazine gathered various people—from experts to soldiers— and their thoughts on the future of photography. Much of it sounds strikingly familiar.

At present photographers do not know their medium enough to use their medium. A writer knows how to write and a composer knows theory of music so that they can extend their arts beyond purely technical elements. But in the future the technique of photography will be so simplified and so widely taught and understood that the illiterate per son will be the one who is not a photographer. Then, with mastery of the purely physical features of photography at his command, the photographer can go as far as his will of expression and his imagination will lead him. Even so, there will be good, better, and best.

With interviews from Paul Strand, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, and Berenice Abbott among others. Abbott’s name is misspelled but her technical criticism is terrific.

Thanks, Jason Kottke!

Berenicew Abbott, ‘El’ Second and Third Avenue Lines; Bowery and Division Street, Manhattan, 1936.Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of George McNeil