The Rephotographic Survey Project (19770-1979) and the Landscape of Photography

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194916
Title:
The Rephotographic Survey Project (19770-1979) and the Landscape of Photography
Author:
Swensen, James R.
Issue Date:
2009
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
In 1976 two young photographers, Mark Klett and JoAnn Verburg, and a photo-historian named Ellen Manchester came together with an idea to rephotograph sites in the American West that had originally been documented by survey photographers such as William Henry Jackson and Timothy O'Sullivan. By the spring of 1977 and with the support of various organizations they began a project that spanned the next three years and would eventually become known as the Rephotographic Survey Project (RSP). In many ways, the RSP represents an important moment in the history of photography and the representation of the American West. Through analysis of their work, archival documents, contemporary sources, and interviews with the original members of the RSP and several others, this dissertation examines the activities of the project and its various members, which also included Gordon Bushaw and Rick Dingus. More than the RSP, this dissertation also focuses on the growing culture of photography that boomed in the 1970s. Photography was no longer seen as an outsider to the world of art but was benefiting from newfound opportunities and growth. Without such a culture, this work argues, it would not have been possible for the RSP to take place. By the end of their project, however, photography was undergoing another important transition as modernism was giving way to the more critical climate of postmodernism. When the RSP finally published their work In 1984, their project and the community of photography that fostered their ideas was undergoing profound changes. This study also closely examines the RSP's fieldwork in the American West and the various discourses that the project encountered in this meaningful space. Like photography, the West was undergoing significant changes that the RSP was able to observe and document. Through their process that matched images from the past with photographs of their present, the RSP was able to record diverse landscapes that had or had not changed over the subsequent century. Furthermore, it also provided insight into the ways in which the West had been represented and perceived over time and in a new history of the West.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
1970s Photography; American West; History of Photography; Landscape Photography; New Western History; Rephotography
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
History & Theory of Art; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
McElroy, Keith
Committee Chair:
McElroy, Keith

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleThe Rephotographic Survey Project (19770-1979) and the Landscape of Photographyen_US
dc.creatorSwensen, James R.en_US
dc.contributor.authorSwensen, James R.en_US
dc.date.issued2009en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractIn 1976 two young photographers, Mark Klett and JoAnn Verburg, and a photo-historian named Ellen Manchester came together with an idea to rephotograph sites in the American West that had originally been documented by survey photographers such as William Henry Jackson and Timothy O'Sullivan. By the spring of 1977 and with the support of various organizations they began a project that spanned the next three years and would eventually become known as the Rephotographic Survey Project (RSP). In many ways, the RSP represents an important moment in the history of photography and the representation of the American West. Through analysis of their work, archival documents, contemporary sources, and interviews with the original members of the RSP and several others, this dissertation examines the activities of the project and its various members, which also included Gordon Bushaw and Rick Dingus. More than the RSP, this dissertation also focuses on the growing culture of photography that boomed in the 1970s. Photography was no longer seen as an outsider to the world of art but was benefiting from newfound opportunities and growth. Without such a culture, this work argues, it would not have been possible for the RSP to take place. By the end of their project, however, photography was undergoing another important transition as modernism was giving way to the more critical climate of postmodernism. When the RSP finally published their work In 1984, their project and the community of photography that fostered their ideas was undergoing profound changes. This study also closely examines the RSP's fieldwork in the American West and the various discourses that the project encountered in this meaningful space. Like photography, the West was undergoing significant changes that the RSP was able to observe and document. Through their process that matched images from the past with photographs of their present, the RSP was able to record diverse landscapes that had or had not changed over the subsequent century. Furthermore, it also provided insight into the ways in which the West had been represented and perceived over time and in a new history of the West.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subject1970s Photographyen_US
dc.subjectAmerican Westen_US
dc.subjectHistory of Photographyen_US
dc.subjectLandscape Photographyen_US
dc.subjectNew Western Historyen_US
dc.subjectRephotographyen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineHistory & Theory of Arten_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorMcElroy, Keithen_US
dc.contributor.chairMcElroy, Keithen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberNickel, Douglasen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMoore, Sarah J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberJenkins, Williamen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMorrissey, Katherineen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10758en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659753596en_US
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