The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-2008; fax (319) 335-2055

Release: Immediate

UI Press book examines history of photography

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Award-winning art historian John Wood turns his critical lens on early and long-neglected photographic forms in a new book from the University of Iowa Press.

"The Photographic Arts" is an illustrated collection of essays by Wood on the western American daguerreotype, contemporary daguerreotypy, the American autochrome, the art of the cyanotype, European pictorialism, and American symbolism in photography.

The 200-hundred page book contains 103 images, printed one to a page, including 34 daguerreotypes and autochromes in full color, 24 cyanotypes presented in blue duotone, and 45 halftones.

Using diaries and journals of gold field miners and a penetrating vision of the near extermination of indigenous peoples, Wood fills in critical gaps in the literature of photography. He contrasts the reality and the mythology shown in the faces of subjects in early photographs.

Wood also examines the influence of photographic pioneer Alfred Stieglitz, arguing that Stieglitz's role on the pictorialist movement has traditionally been overemphasized.

John Wood is professor of art and English and director of the creative writing program at McNeese State University. His book, "The Daguerreotype," published by the UI Press, won the American Photographic Historical Society's Outstanding Book of the Year award in 1989.

"The Photographic Arts" is available at bookstores nationwide for $65 clothbound. The book can also be ordered from UI Press by calling (319) 384-3807 (for calls within Johnson County) or 1-800-235-2665 (outside Johnson County).

Information is also available at the UI Press website: