Photography As Fine Art: A view from the front lines—1901

photography as an art fell upon evil times; it was seized and exploited for moneyed ends, and its artistic possibilities became obscured by commercialism. With the usual interacting of cause and effect, the photographers aimed to please the public, and the latter accepted their work as representative of the art at its best. Dip into the family album of twenty-five years ago ; you will see the mediocrity that prevailed under these conditions^ Here and there a print will record a good likeness; but, for the most part, appear examples of persons, posed in painful attitudes, amid surroundings execrable in their ugliness; the faces purged of every blemish and presenting surfaces as smooth and unlifelike as a fresh cake of soap.

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