Since it was first developed by Daguerre in the 1840s, photography has followed an interesting and varied course in its progress from a practical means of documentation to an art form with its own icons, heroes, galleries and collectors. This eye-catching and engrossing book contains every sort of photography, all of it arranged in an easily accessible and fun format. Pictures of famous events such as the Royal Wedding and the first landing on the moon are here, next to familiar shots by the masters of photography such as Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Cecil Beaton and Robert Doisneau. There is fashion, sport, natural history, reportage and society portraiture, as well as social documentary and art. The 500 photographers features range from William Henry Fox Talbot and Julia Margaret Cameron to Larry Clarke and Herb Rittz, from Robert Capa and Josef Kondelka to Nan Goldin and Pierre et Gilles. Arranged alphabetically, each full-page photograph is accompanied by an illuminating text which gives useful insight into the work and its creator, as well as extensive cross-references to others working in the same field or the same style.
Glossaries of technical terms and movements and a directory of museums and galleries are included in the back of the book to provide a fully comprehensive and self-contained volume.
Ian Jeffrey lectured and was the head of art history at the University of London Goldsmiths' College between 1970 and 1987. His other books include The Concise History of Photography (1981) and The British Landscape 1920-1950 (1984). He has organized various photographic exhibitions, amongst them 'The Real Thing' at the Hayward Gallery in 1974 and 'Landscape in Britain 1850-1950', which was held at the Hayward in 1983.