Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 14 Hours.
Seminars / Tutorials 6 Hours. 20 hours lectures/seminars 80 hours reading, study, seminar and assessment preparation


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 25% CAL test and 25% essay (2500 words)  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to
.a) identify the major movements in nineteenth and early twentieth century photography
b) identify and understand the major processes in nineteenth and early twentieth century photography
c) identify and demonstrate understanding of the major trends in nineteenth and early twentieth century photography
d) identify and discuss the work of select individual photographers in nineteenth and early twentieth century photography
e) articulate an awareness of the visual revolution which photography heralded for societies world-wide
f) understand and discuss the role photography has played as a visual art

Brief description

This module presents the History of Photography from its inception until the 1940s. It charts the early development of photography for the art history student and is an informative essential background for fine art students who specialize in photography. The course investigates a variety of processes, the major themes of photography in the first one hundred years (the portrait, travel, war, etc.) and includes case studies of major historical figures


1. Opticks: Philosophical Inquiries and Concepts centred on Light and Light Capture
2. The 'official' Invention (1839): Niepce, Daguerre and Talbot
3. The National Library of Wales: processes and documents
4. Perception and Effect: Memento Mori, the Portrait and the Dead
5. War, Travel and the Camera
6. Social photography (Thomas Annan, John Thompson, Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine)
7. A New Art: romance, polemics and recantations
8. Visit to Lacock Abbey/photography gallery
9. Process advances, the snapshot and photographic democratisation
10. Proto-Modernism: The Linked Ring, Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession
11. Photo-Modernism: Dada, Surrealism and Bauhaus
12. American Realism: west coast light and f64
13. Politics and the Camera: the photographers of the FSA
14. Politics and the Camera: the Photo-League
15. Margaret Bourke-White: War, Fortune and Steel
16. August Sander, Neue Sachlikeit and visions of Weimar Germany
17. Photographers for the Reich: Photography under National Socialism
18. Out of the ashes, photography as record of the 'Holocaust'
19. Bill Brandt: from Documentary to Art
20. Robert Frank: America through a glass darkly

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Written communication skills
Improving own Learning and Performance Written, critical, IS and research skills further developed
Information Technology Writing in an academic context using word processing and CAL systems
Problem solving Contextualizing historical precedent in the history of photography (e.g. visual, cultural, media, conceptual effects of the medium)
Research skills Researching through the use of library resources (National Library, Hugh Owen) as well electronic resources (e.g. JOEY, the internet), object studies (School of Art collections, NLW collections of photographs
Team work Seminar discussion groups and debate

Reading List

Essential Reading
Barthes, Roland. (1982) Camera lucida : reflections on photography London: Cape Primo search Sontag, Susan. (1979) On photography London: Penguin Primo search Warner Marien, M. (2002) Photography, A Cultural History London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd., Primo search
Recommended Text
Brothers, Caroline. , 1996. (1996) War and photography : a cultural history. London : Routledge Primo search Clarke, Graham. (1997) The photograph Oxford University Press Primo search Ed. Ian Jeffrey. London (1993) Bill Brandt Photographs 1928-1983 Thames and Hudson, London Primo search Galassi, P (1981) Before Photography: painting and the invention of Photography New York: MOMA Primo search Jeffrey, Ian. 1981. (1981) Photography : a concise history London: Thames and Hudson, Primo search Malcolm, Janet. Diana &. , (1980) Nikon : essays on the aesthetic of photography Boston: D. R. Godine Primo search Ruby, J (1995) Secure the shadow: death of photography in America London: MIT Press Primo search Tagg, J (1988) The Burden of Representation Basingstoke: Macmillan Primo search Trachtenberg, Alan. (1989) Reading American photographs : images as history, Matthew Brady to Walker Evans. New York: Hill & Wang Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6