ps - all this needs a little historic context. "Fine Art" Photography as a potential career path is something relatively new, and largely overlaps
that 70's era when a lot of wild experimentation was being done. We have all kinds of now famous photographers whose work is considered
"art" prior to that, but they nearly all made their living some other way - commercial and fashion photog, teaching, some were independently
wealthy, photojournalism, already successful but painters, etc etc. ... Only things like the FSA during the Depression and Dust Bowl formed a
conspicuous exception, supporting photographers of conspicuous talent at public expense. People like Edward Weston as grant recipients were rare; and even he made his living as a bored studio portrait photographer most of the time. Stock images, particularly of the frontier, civil war, and later, scenics was another career path; but technically, I'd classify that as another branch of commercial photography, though
in a few instances the sheer talent of a few practitioners transcended the ordinary. Yet even today, I regard most of the calendar/postcard/picture book/screensaver crowd as just jugglers of nature as a stereotyped visual commodity. So in the general trend of
the food chain, things just tended to favor those who pushed the Western ideal of modernism to the limit. But things do tend to go around in
circles, and the newest fashions are rarely truly new. Somebody did something analogous long before.