A World History of Photography, 4th Edition


A World History of Photography, 4th Edition


To purchase, please visit:  Abbeville Press

By Naomi Rosenblum

Size: 8 3/4 x 11 1/2", 720 pages
831 illustrations, 85 in full color
Published 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7892-0937-5

This sumptuously illustrated volume, hailed as an indispensable work on the fascinatingly expressive photographic medium, has been revised and expanded to cover images by contemporary photographers working in the twenty-first century.


"Now, if you want a remarkable run-down on the entire phenomenon [of photography], from the earliest beginnings to the present day ... you couldnt do better to get it all, compactly and comprehensively, than in this exceptional book." -- Art Matters

"An important up-to-date addition to photographic literature, which lacks such works of erudition." -- Cornell Capa, Founder, International Center of Photography

"A strong resource on the evolution of artistic form and composition in photography, this book is flawless in its annotation and analysis....Libraries that do not own this work should consider purchasing it." -- Choice

From the camera lucida to the latest in digital image making and computer manipulation, photographic technology has dramatically changed throughout its nearly 200-year history, as succinctly explained and powerfully illustrated in A World History of Photography. Thanks to the unique immediacy with which photography captures perspective and history, the popularity and use of the camera spread rapidly around the globe. Today, photography is ubiquitous: from newspapers and fashion magazines to billboards and the film industry, cultures worldwide have embraced this malleable artistic medium for a limitless variety of purposes.

Naomi Rosenblum’s classic text investigates all aspects of photography — aesthetic, documentary, commercial, and technical — while placing photos in their historical context. Included among the more than 800 photographs by men and women are both little-known and celebrated masterpieces, arranged in stimulating juxtapositions that illuminate their visual power. Authoritative and unbiased, Rosenblum’s chronicle of photography both chronologically and thematically traces the evolution of this still-young art form. Exploring the diverse roles that photography has played in the communication of ideas, Rosenblum devotes special attention to topics such as portraiture, documentation, advertising, and photojournalism, and to the camera as a means of personal artistic expression. The revised fourth edition includes updates on technical advances as well as a new chapter on contemporary photographers. Armed with the expressive vigor of its images, this thorough and accessible volume will appeal to all.


Naomi Rosenblum, an independent curator and scholar who has written many articles and lectured extensively on a range of subjects in photography, first published A World History of Photography in 1984. The book has since been translated into French, Japanese, Polish, and Chinese, and it has been updated and expanded through many editions. Rosenblum is also the author of A History of Women Photographers. She lives in Long Island City, New York.

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