DONNA STEIN Photography has a relatively short history; it has only been about a hundred and fifty years since its discovery and only in the past twenty years that some perspective has been placed on the enormous influence the photographie image has had on thought, communication, art, information exchange between societies, and understanding of world culture. Particularly in the United States and Europe, major efforts have been made through exhibitions and books to uncover the past by reading old photographs. One peculiarity of historical photography is that, although it is obviously possible to make many prints from one negative, contrary to expectation the great collections of amateur photographers often consist of single examples. Consequently the dissemination of the information they contain is limited and often difficult to study. Photographs are of immense iconographic and documentary value for the study of nineteenth-century Persian history and succinctly elucidate the hierarchie al establishment of the Qajar state. In addition, they are an essential tool for the systematic investigation of archaeology, geography, geology, and natural history. Photographs are an unrivaled testament to a traditional way of life and its architectural setting. They satisfied the fantasies of nineteenth-century armchair travelers because, as visual
Muqarnas Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1988
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