By Jeffrey Ruggles
Photography in Virginia covers images made within the state's borders from the 1840s to the 1960s. The photographers include residents, visitors, professionals, and amateurs, and special attention is paid to African Americans, women, and Confederates. Most of the images have not been published before. Although its subject is photography, the book also offers a fresh look at Virginia history.
By 1841, an itinerant daguerreotypist was advertising in Virginia. Two Virginians exhibited at London's Crystal Palace in 1851. During the Civil War, there was a great deal more Union photography of the state than Confederate, and the approaches differed. After the war, photographers opened in each community, and the field grew as a cottage industry. About 1890, modern photography was born when a critical mass of technical advances came together. The medium became popular, accessible by the early 1900s to skilled amateurs and eventually by the 1960s to virtually everyone. The long century of what is now called analog photography lasted from 1890 to about 2005. Today, with the emergence of digital media starting at the end of the twentieth century, it is, for better or worse, a new era.
240 pages, Hardcover, ISBN 978-0-945015-30-7, Virginia Historical Society, 2008.
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