Fall 2010
Fully Enrolled

ARTS 626
Landscape Photography/Cultural Geography


09/13/2010 - 12/10/2010
Monday 06:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Zilkha Gallery 106

We will explore the definition of landscape photography as it relates to the realities of the 21st century where wildness is contained within boundaries or otherwise controlled, developed, or contaminated. We will consider the medium of photography as a visual force within American culture by surveying landscape photography from the nineteenth-century photographers who accompanied geologic survey teams and developers to the unsettled West, to current landscape photographic practice. Through the viewing of slides, books, and prints, the photograph will be studied as a specific medium that excels both at description and as artistic expression. We will begin by viewing the images by Timothy O'Sullivan, who photographed along the Fortieth Parallel as part of Clarence King's first survey in 1867. Remarkable in their formal beauty, O'Sullivan's photographs portrayed the frontier with an unflinching clarity, seen only rarely until much later on, in the work of Evans, Weston, and Strand of the 1930s. The concept of the frontier had become a relic by the turn of the century; photographers have since portrayed the land as pastoral impression (Steichen), as expression of self (Stieglitz), as formalist investigation (Weston), and as an optimistic drama of light and majesty (Ansel Adams). The New Topographic photographers of the 1970s looked at sites such as industrial parks and land development in the West with a cool reserve. Current photographers such as Burtynsky and Misrach make gorgeous color pictures of industrial sites and of land tortured by human use.

Enrollment is limited to 16 students. This course is not open to auditors.

The deadline to withdraw and receive a tuition refund for this course is Friday, September 17 at 5:00 pm.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
ARTS 626

Marion Belanger (B.F.A. Alfred University; M.F.A. Yale University) is a widely exhibited photographer whose current projects focus on visualizing ecology. Her photographs were recently shown in the main terminal of the Tampa International Airport, and in Germany as a part of Contemporary American Photography, 7. Internationale Fototage Mannheim/Ludwigshafen. She has been awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and from the Connecticut Commission Culture & Tourism. Her book Everglades: Outside and Within, was published by Center for American Places at Columbia College in 2009. View her work at www.marionbelanger.com.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 16

Texts to purchase for this course:
Robert Adams, Along Some Rivers, Publisher: Aperture

Chris Wilson, Paul Groth, Everyday America: Cultural Landscape Studies after J.B. Jackson, Publisher: University of California Press

Stephen Shore, The Nature of Photographs


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