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Making Photography Matter – A Viewer's History from the Civil War to the Great Depression - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Making Photography Matter: A Viewer's History from the Civil War to the Great Depression

Cara A. Finnegan


Photography became a dominant medium in cultural life starting in the late nineteenth century. As it happened, viewers increasingly used their reactions to photographs to comment on and debate public issues as vital as war, national identity, and citizenship. This book analyzes a wealth of newspaper and magazine articles, letters to the editor, trial testimony, books, and speeches produced by viewers in response to specific photos they encountered in public. From the portrait of a young Abraham Lincoln to images of child laborers and Depression-era hardship, the book treats the photograph as a ... More

Keywords: photography, war, national identity, child labor, citizenship, viewer engagement, cultural life, viewers, photographs, public life

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780252039263
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017 DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252039263.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Cara A. Finnegan, author
University of Illinois