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Grant number like: FT-59758-12

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Laurie Dahlberg
Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-9800)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2012 – 7/31/2012

Photography and the Transformation of a Gentleman's Art, 1839-1900

This book project examines the 19th-century amateur in photography in France, Great Britain, and the United States, from the introduction of photography in 1839 through the watershed moment of the introduction of the Kodak #1 (1888) and its aftermath. I argue that the amateur functions as a barometer of the vicissitudes of class and culture as the compounding changes of industrial modernity brought the century to a close. More than any other visual medium, amateur photography allows us to witness the self-conscious exteriorization of the middle class, as photography grew from the rarefied pursuit of a handful of families on their estates to the constant companion of office workers and shop girls in their off-hours. The topic allows us a singular view to international debates of technological and social progress, inflected by the dynamics of class and gender. I seek support to finish the research and writing of Chapter Three, which deals with the arrival of Kodak and its repercussions.