Vanderbilt's Wants


Three photographs taken of different sections of the same newspaper from 4 March 1880, when the first photograph to be printed directly in a newspaper appeared, are presented. While the allegorical cover on the left relates various printing technologies to the arts and sciences in general, the article in the middle, which describes the clearing of shantytowns to make way for a railroad in Manhattan, does not mention the halftone print from a photograph of Shantytown, NY (here on the right) that is printed in the very same newspaper. At the very beginning, or even before the beginning of photojournalism in newsprint, photography is separated from the story it could have illustrated. Instead, photography enters newsprint as a technological curiosity and this image of shantytown becomes a moment in the history of photojournalism, rather than in a history of urban development.


3 photographs, 51 x 66.5 cm, 47.7 x 66.5 cm, 49 x 35.5 cm