Photography Reframed


  • Anna Dahlgren Stockholm University, Sweden



Media history, photography, media specificity, Nineteenth century, album, illustrated press


This article discusses the benefits of analysing photography as mediated, reproduced and entangled in media systems, and consequently as part of a larger media culture. Moreover it combines technological considerations drawn from media archaeology with art historical analysis focusing on visual aesthetics. It considers two mediating devices for photography in the nineteenth century, the photo album and the illustrated press. As displayed, a media historical perspective airs new interpretations and understandings of processes and practices in relation to photography in the period. Thus what from a photo historical point of view might appear as an important, paradigmatic invention or a critical technical delimitation might from a media historical perspective seem to have been merely a small adjustment in a chain of gradual improvements and experiments in the dissemination and consumption of images. Thus photographic media specificity delimited by technical procedures and certain materials outputs, which was so strongly emphasized in the twentieth century, was evidently not fixed to materiality and rather opened and negotiated in the nineteenth century. Accordingly, responsiveness to the literal and figurative framing of photography as mediated, discloses other photo histories.


Album Lithographique par Charlet (1829): Paris: Gihaut Frères, Editeurs.

Album de Douze Sujets: Composés et dessinis sur pierre par Roqueplan (1831): Paris/London: Ch. Motte Impr Lithographe.

Album der Haupt – und Rezidenzstädte Europas herausgegeben von Ludwig Bernstein und V Kleinknecht (1843): Schweinfurt: Kleinknecht und Schäfer’s Buchverlag.

Bann, Stephen (2001): Parallel Lines: Printmakers, Painters and Photographers in Nineteenth-Century France, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Bann, Stephen (2013): Distinguished Images: Prints and the Visual Economy in Nineteenth-Century France, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Bann, Stephen (2015): ‘Against Photographic Exeptionalism’, Tanya Sheehan & Andrés Mario Zervignòn (eds.): Photography and Its Origins, London: Routledge, pp. 61-66.

Batchen, Geoffrey (1999): Burning With Desire: The Conception of Photography, Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press.

Bolter, Jay David & Richard Grusin (2000): Remediation: Understanding New Media, Cambridge Mass: MIT Press.

Bremmer, Magnus (2013): ‘A Pointer for Beauty: Photography, Ekphrasis, and the Aesthetics of Attention in Johannes Jaeger’s 1866 Photobook’, History of Photography, 37: 4, 421-430. DOI: 10.1080/03087298.2013.798525

Cronqvist Marie, Johan Jarlbrink & Patrik Lundell (eds.) (2014): Mediehistoriska vändningar, Lund: Lunds universitet.

Dahlgren, Anna (2013): Ett medium för visuell bildning. Kulturhistoriska perspektiv på fotoalbumet 1850-1950, Stockholm: Makadam.

Di Bello, Patrizia, Colette Wilson & Shamoon Zamir (eds.) (2012): The Photo Book. From Talbot to Ruscha and Beyond, London: I.B. Tauris.

Di Bello, Patrizia (2013): ‘Multiplying Statues by Machinery’: Stereoscopic Photographs of Sculptures at the 1862 International Exhibition, History of Photography, 37:4, 412-420. DOI: 10.1080/03087298.2013.780750

Dinius, Marcy J. (2012): Camera and the Press: American Visual and Print Culture in the Age of the Daguerreotype, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. DOI: 10.9783/9780812206340

Edwards, Elisabeth & Janice Hart (2004): Photographs, Objects, Histories: On the Materiality of Images, London: Routledge.

Emerson, Peter Henry (1890): Naturalistic Photography, London: Sampson, Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington.

Ernst, Wolfgang (2005): ‘Let There Be Irony: Cultural History and Media Archeology in Parallel Lines’, Art History, 28: 5, 582-603. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8365.2005.00479.x

Fichot, Charles (1852): Album pittoresque et monumental: Dessiné d’après nature et lithographié a deux teintes et en couleur, Troyes.

Frizot, Michel (eds.) (1998): A New History of Photography, Cologne: Könemann.

”Gaboon-floden vid Guineabughten” (1882) Illustrerad Familj-Journal, 3, 19-20.

Gaehtgens, Thomas W. & Louis Marchesano (2011): Display and Art History. The Düsseldorf Gallery and Its Catalogue, Los Angeles: Getty Research institute.

Galton, Francis (1884): Life History Album: Prepared by directions of the collective investigation committee of the British Medical Association, London: Macmillan. DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.22512

Gernsheim, Helmut & Alison Gernsheim (1955): The History of Photography. From the Earliest Use of the Camera Obscura in the Eleventh Century up to 1914, London: Oxford University Press.

Gitelman, Lisa & Geoffrey B. Pingree (2003): ‘Introduction. What’s New About New Media?’, New Media 1740–1915 , Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, XI-XXII.

Hannavy, John (eds.) (2002): Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography vol. 1, A–I, London: Routledge.

Harvard, Jonas & Patrik Lundell (eds.) (2010), 1800-talets mediesystem, Stockholm: Kungliga biblioteket.

Henisch, Heinz K. & Bridget A. Henisch (1994): The Photographic Experience 1839-1914: Images and Attitudes , University Park, Pa.:The Pennsylvania State University Press.

Hassner, Rune (1977): Bilder för miljoner, Stockholm: Rabén & Sjögren.

Huhtamo, Erkki & Jussi Parikka (eds.) (2011): Media Archaelogy: Approaches, Applications, and Implications, Berkley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Jülich, Solveig, Patrik Lundell & Pelle Snickars (eds.) (2008): Mediernas kulturhistoria, Stockholm: Kungliga biblioteket.

Indiscretionernas bok. Album för sjelfporträttering (1881): Kristianstad: Hjalmar Möllers Bokhandel.

Jammes, Isabelle (1981): Blanquart-Évrard et les origines de l’édition photographique française: catalogue raisonné des albums photographiques édités 1851–1855, Genève: Librairie Droz.

Johannesson, Lena (1997): Den massproducerade bilden, Stockholm: Carlssons [1978].

Jäger, Jens (2003): ’Picturing Nations. Landscape Photography and National Identity in Britain and Germany in the Mid-Nineteenth Century’, Joan M. Schwartz & James R. Ryan (eds.): Picturing Place: Photography and the Geographical Imagination, London: I.B. Tauris, 117-140.

Lacan, Ernest (1854): ‘Les garde-vue artistiques de M. Plumier’, La Lumière, 16 December, 198.

Lambert, Charles J. and Susan Lambert (1883), The Voyage of the “Wanderer”: From the Journals and Letters of C. and S. Lambert. Edited by Gerald Young. Illustrated by R.T. Pritchett, and others, London: Macmillan and Co.

McCauley, Elizabeth Anne (1985): A.A.E. Disdéri and the Carte-de-visite Portrait Photograph, New Haven: Yale University Press.

McCauley, Elizabeth Anne (1994): Industrial Madness: Commercial Photography in Paris 1848-1871, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Maas, Ellen (1977): Die goldenen Jahre der Photoalben, Köln: Du Mont Buchverlag.

Mental Photographs: an album for confessions of tastes, habits (1869): R. Saxton (eds.), New York.

Mental Photographs: An Album for Confessions of Tastes, Habits & Convictions (1875):New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Münchner Album (1846): München: Georg Franz.

Natale, Simone (2012): ‘Photography and Communication Media in the Nineteenth Century’, History of Photography, 36:4, 451-456. DOI: 10.1080/03087298.2012.680306

Newhall, Beaumont (1937): The History of Photography, New York: The Museum of Modern Art.

Niboyet, Paulin (1857):Album pittoresque de Stockholm, collection des vues avec texte par Paulin Niboyet,: Stockholm.

”Några ord om fotografier och manier” (1865): Dagens Nyheter, January 5.

Ruskin, John (1874): ‘Various Writings 1845-1879’, Vicki Goldberg(1988) (eds.): Photography in Print: Writings from 1816 to the Present, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Szarkowski, John (1966): The Photographer’s Eye, New York: Museum of Modern Art.

Sturzen Becker, Oscar Patric (1845): Svenskt Album: Valdt utdrag ur Sverges nyare prosaiska litteratur, Copenhagen: George H. Jaeger.

Sturzen Becker, Oscar Patric (1862): Reuterholm: Efter hans egna memoarer: En fotografi, Stockholm/Copenhagen.

Siegel, Elisabeth (2010): Galleries of Friendship and Fame. A History of Nineteenth-Century American Photograph Albums, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Smith, Graham, (2012): ’H. Fox Talbot’s ”Scotch Views” for Sun Pictures in Scotland’, Patrizia di Bello, Colette Wilson & Shamoon Zamir (eds.): The Photo Book: From Talbot to Ruscha and Beyond, London: I.B. Tauris.

Stockholms adresskalender, Stockholm: editions 1856 – 1865.

Thorburn, David & Henry Jenkins (eds.) (2003): Rethinking Media Change. The Aesthetics of Transition , David Thorburn and Henry Jenkins, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Twain, Mark (1872): ’Mental Photographs’, in A Curious Dream and other sketches, London: Routledge and Sons.

427 porträtter af namnkunniga svenske män och fruntimmer (1840-1847):Stockholm.