Whether photography is art may not ultimately be settled to universal satisfaction in APUG but it has been decided in a court of law; and a very long time ago too.
Originally Posted by I.G.I.
1861 in France saw photographers Mayer and Pierson bring a copyright action against the photographic duo of Betbeder and Schwabbe. The ruckus was over pirated pictures of Lord Palmerston. Mayer and Pierson claimed copyright protection under the French copyright laws of 1793 and 1810. The catch was that those laws protected only works of art so the court's decision hinged on whether photography was art.
Mayer and Pierson lost! Photography apparently was not art according to the court's judgement of 9 January 1862.
Mayer and Pierson appealed the decision on 10 April 1862. Their lawyer, a Monsieur M.Marie, gave an eloquent defence of the art of photography using many of the ideas now raised in this very thread. The court reversed its previous decision and declared on 4 July 1862 that photography was art.
The battle was not over. Later in 1862 a group of famous painters including Ingres petitioned against the decision. The arguments they used bear a striking resemblance to the anti-art-photography sentiments also found here and there in this thread.
Finally on 28 November 1862 the French court threw out the painters' petition and photography has enjoyed secure status as art ever since; at least in France it has.
Another curious corner of history reveals that the Paris Salon of 1859 admitted photographs to be displayed along with paintings and sculpture. The catch was that the photography display was accessed through a different doorway. Even more curious than the admission of photography was the exclusion of the Impressionists as obviously not qualifying as creditable artists!
Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.
Maris, THAT is a wonderful post! I enjoyed that immensely.
"When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."
— Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932
Yes Maris, that was wonderful.
Any French litigation about digital being Art?
Reminds me of the old drinking laws around here. You can see remnants of them in old, former "beer parlours" which had two entrances - one labeled "gentlemen" and the other labelled "ladies and escorts".
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
to methe wordsautomation andartare in conflict by definitio, because art is created not copied
Interesting question as this story was just presented on PBS.
Originally Posted by jernejk
Does this make Vermeer's paintings any less artistic because he used the technology of the day? Other famous artists have used the camera obscura to help them. There is more to art than just the mechanics. One must have a vision before anything else. Vermeer was very thorough in planning out the settings of his paintings. Technology is no help there.
Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 12-05-2013 at 10:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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This topic is quite confusing, contradicting, and opens more questions than answers.
If renaissance was about craft, why is it considered art today?
If art is only not depicting reality, these are not art, either: http://www.cuded.com/2013/02/50-mind...ncil-drawings/
If feels like the craft of creating objects which are visually pleasant had been called "craft" for the most part of the history, and only in more modern times it departed from copying the reality. Maybe with the raise of Baroque, continued with symbolism, impressionism and of course surrealism and pop art. It came to the point where anything depicting something "ordinary" is not considered "art" anymore - but that is ONLY at this particular point in time and we'll see how the future generations evaluate our time and decide what was art and what is kitsch or just insanity.
Anyhow, there have been many good thoughts shared and many different views. There is no final answer, so it's pointless to trying to find it.
Personally, I find peace with the quote below. I don't feel the need to create "art". I just like doing what I'm doing.
Originally Posted by dehk
As much as historical anecdotes are entertaining often there is the unspoken assumption that past generations had the same values like us; more often than not that is not the case. During the 19th century photography gained prestige and was valued precisely because it was not subjectively artistic, but objective rendition of reality based on scientific principles; that was the century of exciting scientific discoveries, and many in the visual arts (impressionists, cubists, art nouveau, art deco and modernism) wanted to implement some of them. To have their portrait taken was a matter of prestige for the middle and upper classes precisely because of this photography's aura of objectivity and scientific prestige (it was 20th century with it's use of sciences as murder and brainwash tools that tarnished the public perception of science and technology). Respectively, high brow art never had this kind of universal, almost mythical prestige which it have today, no doubt due to it's objectification and fetishisation by the contemporary capitalist society; indeed the very idea what is art, and of artistic significance changed/evolved with each century, and what we consider art today, was not thought as such in the past (as recently as 18th/19th century only marble was considered suitable for the elevated subject matters of sculpture; or, of instance, during the construction of the St. Peter cathedral in Rome the Italians, under the guidance of such luminaries as Michelangelo, Bramante, and Bernini, used the Coliseum as a marble quarry... )
Originally Posted by Maris
And that's what art is all about, isn't it??
Just depnds if anyone else values it or if your the only one. Some family pix speak to many, others speak only to the family that can value them.
One can invest a lot of time if garbage. so time invested alone means nothing.
I think fine art can mean more 'artisan' created or 'higher quality' type of thing. (But not all the time.) I think fine art gets thrown around too much, but there is not another good replacement word I know of.
Originally Posted by blansky