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This is a compelling look at one of photography's most beloved subjects. Animals in Photographs is the ninth in a group of photography books drawn from the holdings of The J. Paul Getty Museum, each volume focusing on a specific theme or genre spanning the history of the medium from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Animals in Photographs traces the relationship between animal representation and the possibilities presented by rapid advancements in camera and film technologies.
In his opening essay, Arpad Kovacs explores the allegorical, social, scientific, and aesthetic approaches to a subject that has been of continuous interest to photographers across the centuries. Eighty full-color plates represent image makers ranging from unknown daguerreotypists and nineteenth-century innovators Felice Beato and Eadweard Muybrudge to early twentieth-century artists Andre Kertesz, Alexander Rodchenko, August Sander, and Alfred Stieglitz to mid-twentieth-century photographers Berenice Abbott, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, and Man Ray. More recent makers Linda Connor, Robert Mapplethorpe, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and William Wegman, along with contemporary artists Tim Hawkinson, Pieter Hugo, and Graciela Iturbide build on that history to round out a group of images that is both distinctive and intriguing.
Animals in Photographs is published on the occasion of the exhibition In Focus: Animalia, on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, Los Angeles, from May 26 to October 18, 2015.