Economics at your fingertips  

The Greatest Photographers of the Twentieth Century

David Galenson

No 15278, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: A survey of textbooks reveals that scholars consider Alfred Stieglitz to have been the greatest photographer of the twentieth century, followed in order by Walker Evans, Cindy Sherman, Man Ray, and Eugène Atget. Stieglitz, Evans, and Atget were experimental artists, who were committed to realism, whereas Man Ray and Sherman were conceptual innovators, who constructed images to express ideas. During much of the twentieth century, photography was dominated by the experimental approach and aesthetic of Stieglitz and his followers, but late in the century this changed; as photography grew increasingly central to advanced art in general, it came to be dominated by conceptual innovators. Sherman's celebrated creation of artificial scenes is characteristic of the almost exclusively conceptual uses that today's advanced artists make of its techniques and images, as technical and aesthetic considerations are generally subordinated to conceptual concerns.

JEL-codes: Z1 Z11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul and nep-his
Note: PR
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

Page updated 2023-09-09
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15278