Factors influencing the neglect of color photography : 1860 to 1970
Author(s)Milanowski, Stephen R
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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While the history of photographic color technology has been adequately discussed by E.J. Hall, Joseph Friedman, and Brian Coe, the relationship between complex tri-color systems and generalized use of color photography has not been addressed in the Literature. This investigation is a preliminary study, in survey form, of the wide variety of social, economic, technological, and aesthetic factors affecting the protracted acceptance of color as a means of depiction. In separate analyses covering, 1) 19th century color innovation and interest, 2) Specific impediments related to the delay of color, 3) The selling of color during the 1930's and 40's, 4) The biases against color, 5) The precedents set by black and white rendering , and 6) The problems of resolving an accessible negative/positive color technology, we will describe the sequence of events which contributed to the eventual adoption of color materials and outline the conditions tied to this adoption. A fundamental aspect of this research acknowledges that, while photography was invented in 1839, large scale acceptance and use of color did not occur until 1965 - a full 126 years after the inception of black and white materials. The complex of factors related to this neglect of color has not been the subject of scholarly analysis in the Literature; there is not firm legacy of serious color photography and this couples with the absence of historical inquiry into the aesthetic and social aspects of color's evolution. The important invention of photography has provided us with a predominantly black and white record of things and events since 1839; this thesis, then, is an inquiry into the evolution of a technology and the complex of issues related to the cultural lags attached to most technological innovations.
Thesis (M.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1982.MICROFICHE COPY AVAILABLE IN ARCHIVES AND ROTCH.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology