street photography - a brief history

Street Photography a brief history

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Street Photographya brief history

“Street photographs have an imaginative life all their own, one that seems sometimes quite independent of whatever intentions the

photographer might have had…”

From Bystander: A History of Street Photography by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz

Edgar Degas Place de la Concorde


Charles MarvilleRue TirechappeNegatibe about 1860

Eugene AtgetRag picker1899-1900

"The charm of Atget lies not in the mastery of the plates and papers of his time, nor in the quaintness of costume, architecture and humanity as revealed in his pictures, but in his equitable and intimate point of view. . . . His work is a simple revelation of the simplest aspects of his environment. There is no superimposed symbolic motive, no tortured application of design, no intellectual axe to grind. The Atget prints are direct and emotionally clean records of a rare and subtle perception, and represent perhaps the earliest expression of true photographic art."

Ansel Adams

Eugene AtgetRue du Maure

c. 1908

Eugene Atget91, rue de Turenne


Edward SteichenThe Flatiron


Karl StrussColumbus Day Parade

c. 1912

Jacques-Henri LartigueAvenue du Bois de Boulogne, Paris


Jacques-Henri LartigueCar Trip, Papa at 80 kilometres an hour


Andre KerteszMontmartre


Andre KerteszMeudon, Paris


Alexander RodchenkoGathering for the demonstration

in the courtyard of the VChUTEMAS(Higher Institute of Technics and Art)


Walker EvansCity Lunch Counter


Walker EvansGirl in Fulton Street

New York, 1929

Walker EvansParked Car, Small Town, Main Street, 1932

Ossining, New York

Brassai (Gyula Halasz)Open Gutter

From "Paris by Night"1933

Berenice AbbottBread Store, 259 Bleecker Street

c. 1935-39

Berenice AbbottEl at Columbus Avenue and Broadway

c. 1935-39

Bill BrandtWindow in Osborn Street


Bill BrandtEast End girl, doing the Lambeth

Walkc. 1936

Henri Cartier-Bresson (Alicante), Spain 1932

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Hyères, France 1932

BrassaiLa Mortn.d.

Helen LevittNew Yorkc. 1940

Helen LevittNew Yorkc. 1942

Helen LevittUntitledc. 1942

Robert DoisneauSunday morning in Arcueil


Robert DoisneauSidelong glance


Harry CallahanDetroit1943

Lisette ModelRunning Legs


Weegee (Arthur Fellig)Murder in Hell's Kitchen


Louis FaurerNew York, Union Square Through Window, 1948

Louis FaurerAccident, New York City,


Louis FaurerMan with Goggles and Sign,

New York, 1947

Aaron SiskindSt. Louis 9


Aaron SiskindChicago 206


That crazy feeling in America when the sun is hot on the streets and music comes out of the jukebox or from a

nearby funeral, that's what Robert Frank has captured in the tremendous photographs taken as he travelled on the road around practically forty-eight states in an old used car (on Guggenhiem Fellowship) and with the agility,

mystery, genius, sadness, and strange secrecy of a shadow photographed scenes that have never been seen before on


- Jack Kerouac, from his introduction to The Americans

Robert FrankFrom The Americans 1959

Robert Frank

From The Americans 1959

"Robert Frank, Swiss, unobtrusive, nice, with that little camera that he raises and snaps with one hand he sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film, taking rank among the tragic poets of the world.“

Jack Kerouac

William KleinBroadway and 103rd Street

New York1954-55

William Klein Contact sheet

Roy DeCaravaMan with portfolio


Diane ArbusChild with a toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C.


Garry WinograndLos Angeles


Garry WinograndAmerican Legion Convention,

Dallas, Texas1964

Winogrand 's work synthesizes the documentary and photojournalist traditions. Influenced by Robert Frank's The Americans, he employed a wide angle lens on a handheld camera, and shot from an intimate distance. This enabled him to incorporate more of his subjects, and gave his images an unfamiliar, compositional complexity. He took shots, he said, "to see how things would look as photographs". The medium of still photography he described as "the illusion of a literal description of how a camera saw a piece of time and space".

In many ways these works are social satires of American life. They dramatise the broad canvas of American society, with its diverse classes, creeds and races jostling on the street. The formal turbulence of his images with their dynamic tilted viewpoints, their grainy immediacy, their frenetic crowds and their temporarily isolated strangers, matches the political turbulence of the Vietnam years and provides a defining portrait of a society caught unawares.

Lee FriedlanderNew York


Lee FriedlanderLafayette, Louisiana




Ray MetzkerComposites: Philadelphia (Apertures)


Joel MeyerowitzNew York City


Joel MeyerowitzNew York City


John HardingUntitled1983-4

For months I followed strangers on the street. For the pleasureof following them, not because they particularly interested me.I photographed them without their knowledge, took note of theirmovements, then finally lost sight of them and forgot them.

At the end of January 1980, on the streets of Paris, I followeda man whom I lost sight of a few minutes later in the crowd.That very evening, quite by chance, he was introduced to meat an opening. During the course of our conversation, hetold me he was planning an imminent trip to Paris.

Sophie Calle

Sophie Calle from Suite Venitienne 1983

William EgglestonMiami1980s

Alex WebbPort au Prince, November 1987.

Killed by the army

Alex WebbPort au Prince

1987.from Under a Grudging Sun

Dolores MaratDans le métro à Auber1988

Dolores MaratLe Joueur d’acordéon


Dolores MaratL’Homme dans la nuit


Gillian Wearing

Gillian Wearing

Signs that say what you want them to say andnot Signs that say what someone else wants you to say,


Gillian WearingHomage to the Woman the Bandaged Face Who

I Saw Yesterday Down Walworth Road1995

Erwin WurmOne minute sculptures,

Self-service series1999.

Philip-Lorca diCorciaEddie Anderson; 21 years old; Houston, Texas; $20


Philip-Lorca diCorciaHead #13