The Majesty of Early Photography

Via The New Yorker

The “Photography and Discovery” show at the Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, is small (around thirty photographs, mostly pre-1900, all from the Clark’s own amazing collections), curatorially unpretentious (no challenging art-historical theses are advanced), and well worth a visit, especially for people, like me, whose interest in photography is mainly indulged through books or online. Because one of the things in the show you’re quickly struck by is the painterliness of the pre-digital photographic image. It’s not surprising; painting was the paradigm for visual art in the nineteenth century. But it’s not only the composition that’s painterly; it’s also the tactility.

Read the rest from The New Yorker