Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
The New York Public Library (NYPL) has launched an incredibly handy new tool for anyone conducting photography-related research or simply interested in exploring the history of the medium through the lives of its practitioners. In the online Photographers’ Identities Catalog (PIC), you can now peruse the biographical data of some 110,000 people involved with photography, from the days of the earliest daguerreotypes to the present year.
Each individual profile provides basic information such as birth date and location, but also relays the processes the photographer used, as well as the collections in which you can find his or her work. Besides searching for a specific artist, you can look up studios, organizations (such as NASA or Magnum), or distributors (such as the early stereoscopic company Underwood & Underwood).
One neat use of PIC may be its ability to aid in dating photographs: if you have a collection of old studio portraits, as NYPL’s David Lowe explains, you can search by the studio name and address, which are often printed somewhere on the card, and discover the periods when the studio was active, thus pinpointing a set of years. More broadly, since the search engine is equipped with many filters — from date to nationality — PIC is great for simply exploring specific interests. The database also displays results on a map, allowing you to quickly scan by region — even on the moon.
Maybe you’re interested in Czech photographers active in the 1800s or artists working in India who created photogravures. Perhaps you’re curious about female Navajo shutterbugs — a search for which only produces one result right now, unfortunately: Anna B. Crews. But the collection is regularly updated, and the NYPL team welcomes your contributions via email.
“The impossibility of reforming Tony [Soprano] bears some resemblance to the crisis plaguing museums and toxic philanthropy today, where a culture of bullying and exploitation belies programming of socially- and politically-engaged art.”
As a critic, I’m dying to make a meta-critique of the ways my communities are represented on screen.
Over 50 years of the artist’s video and media work on how images, sound, and cultural iconography inform representation is on view through December 30.
Frey ponders why she felt comfort in television and film content that intellectuals often take pride in dismissing.
What does Rutherford Falls, a new TV series that prominently features two small town museums, tell us about the way people see the contentious stories on display in history and art institutions?
Over the course of three months, the resident artists in Going to the Meadow will collaborate and create with a curated set of continually changing materials.