The Art Institute of Chicago Field Guide to Photography and Media


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Edited by Antawan I. Byrd and Elizabeth Siegel, with Carl Fuldner; With an essay by Matthew S. Witkovsky

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A roster of prominent artists, curators, and scholars offers a new, entirely contemporary approach to our understanding of photography and media

Focusing on the Art Institute of Chicago’s deep and varied collection of photographs, books and other printed matter, installation art, photobooks, albums, and time-based media, this ambitious, wide-ranging volume features short essays by prominent artists, curators, university professors, and independent scholars that explore topics essential to understanding photography and media today. The essays, organized around themes ranging from the expected to the esoteric, are paired with key objects from the collection in order to address issues of aesthetics, history, philosophy, power relations, production, and reception. More than 400 high-quality reproductions amplify the authors’ arguments and suggest additional dialogues across conventional divisions of chronology, genre, geography, and technology. An introductory essay by Matthew S. Witkovsky traces the museum’s history of acquisitions and how the evolution of the museum’s collection reflects broader changes in the critical reception of the field of photography and media.

Distributed for the Art Institute of Chicago

Antawan I. Byrd is associate curator of photography and media, Elizabeth Siegel is curator of photography and media, Carl Fuldner is former Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Postdoctoral Fellow, Photography and Media, and Matthew S. Witkovsky is Richard and Ellen Sandor Chair and Curator of Photography, all at the Art Institute of Chicago.

ISBN: 9780300266887
Publication Date: April 25, 2023
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Art Institute of Chicago
424 pages, 9 1/4 x 11 1/2
300 color + 100 b/w illus.
Galleries of Friendship and Fame

A History of Nineteenth-Century American Photograph Albums

Elizabeth Siegel

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Avant-Garde Art in Everyday Life

Early Twentieth-Century European Modernism

Edited by Matthew S.

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Jindrich Heisler

Surrealism under Pressure, 1938-1953

Jindrich Toman and Matthew S. Witkovsky

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Abelardo Morell

The Universe Next Door

Elizabeth Siegel; With contributions by Brett Abbott and Pa

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Sarah Charlesworth


Matthew S. Witkovsky

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Revoliutsiia! Demonstratsiia!

Soviet Art Put to the Test

Edited by Matthew S.

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