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Link back to series home page.Graphic header: Explore Photographic Archives
International Photography
International Photography: George Eastman House Index to Photographers, Collections and Exhibitions (Andrew H. Eskind, editor, 1998, GK Hall, Publisher) is a 2000-page, three-volume book, found mostly at museums, large public and academic libraries. An indispensable aid to scholars of photography, its size alone is demonstrable proof of the vast number of photographic collections which exist worldwide today. At last count, those numbers included some 637 collections worldwide, 6475 exhibitions and over 80,500 photographers. The book is the international successor to three previous editions of Index to American Photographic Collections. Its statistical information is extensive and includes, for example, a ranking of the largest collections by number of photographers listed. The George Eastman House itself is first in this category with 11,000 photographers represented in their collection. A TELNET file maintains the most current statistics.

The scope of the text's content covers photography as collected by public collections, and as exhibited, primarily by museums rather than commercial galleries.

The creation of this text has been an enormous undertaking about which much can be said... The information has been gathered over a long period (nearly a generation), the explosive growth coming along as computers enter the scene and become easier to use in the 1980s. Also important is that only beginning in the 1980s have many photography collections been adequately inventoried to be able to participate. The earliest editions only listed a very few photographers from a few collections...

What limits the population of photographers? Yes, anyone can be a photographer: Barry Goldwater is included, as are Andy Warhol and Edward Degas. No further questions are asked so long as an individual's photographs have been collected or exhibited by one or more public collections -- museums, archives, historical societies, libraries... this project doesn't collate names of photographers from business directories, yellow pages, or membership lists of professional photography associations. To do so would add thousands of names for which examples of work are not available for study...

Andrew Eskind, Editor

 

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