Print the Legend Photography and the American West Martha A. Sandweiss

Series:
The Lamar Series in Western History
Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
10 Apr 2004
ISBN:
9780300103151
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
420 pages: 244 x 170mm
Illustrations:
148 b-w illus. + duotones throughout

Categories:

A compelling story of how the new medium of photography and the new American frontier came of age together—illustrated with scores of stunning images

This prize-winning book tells the intertwined stories of photography and the American West—a new medium and a new place that came of age together in the nineteenth century.

“Excellent . . . rewarding . . . a provocative look at the limits of photography as recorder of history—and its role in perpetuating myth.”—Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

“A sophisticated and engaging exploration of photography and the West . . . A really handsome work.”—James McWilliams, Austin Chronicle

“A wonderful book.”—Vernon Peter, Sunday Oregonian

“A deliciously intelligent new book . . . so engrossing you can’t stop reading.”—Michael More, Albuquerque Journal

Print the Legend belongs on that short shelf of essential books about the American West.”—James P. Ronda, University of Tulsa

Winner of the 2002 Ray Allen Billington Prize given annually by the Organization of American Historians for the best book in American frontier history


?Sandweiss summons the shadows of culture that have hidden behind photographs from the American West. And from this archaeology, she creates noble arguments for a visual literacy just as privileged as any word.??Dr. Anthony Bannon, Director, George Eastman House


?Sandweiss has written splendidly about the American West and an American craft and how the two evolved together. Beyond that, she shows us how much we can learn by studying how Americans, quite literally, have pictured themselves.??Elliott West, University of Arkansas


"Martha Sandweiss deserves special praise for her pioneering book on photography and the American West. She has identified numerous unknown photographers who so effectively shaped our image of the Western frontier. Told in a delightful, often wry and humorous narrative style, Print the Legend is a major new history of photography that also provides us with a richer, more insightful history of how we came to visualize the American West."?Howard R. Lamar, Yale University "Martha Sandweiss deserves special praise for her pioneering book on photography and the American West. She has identified scores of unknown photographers who so effectively shaped our image of the Western frontier. The stunning result is a major new history of photography that also provides us with a richer, more insightful history of how we came to visualize the American West."?Howard R. Lamar, Yale University


?This is one of those remarkable, compelling books that comes along only when a distinguished scholar meets a great subject. The best historians make the commonplace new and strange. Martha A. Sandweiss does that in Print the Legend, her extraordinary journey into the photographs of the American West. Most collections of western photographs ask us to look at images from the past; Sandweiss calls readers to listen to the stories that swirl around those images. Like the images themselves, those stories are revelations of times past and present. No one writes about western photography with more grace and skill than Martha Sandweiss. Her command of the subject is evident on every page. This is one of those rare books that makes us appreciate ourselves and our varied pasts in new and fresh ways. Print the Legend belongs on that short shelf of essential books about the American West.??James P. Ronda, Barnard Professor of Western American History, University of Tulsa  


?This is one of those remarkable, compelling books that comes along only when a distinguished scholar meets a great subject. No one writes about western photography with more grace and skill than Martha Sandweiss. Print the Legend belongs on that short shelf of essential books about the American West.??James P. Rhonda, Barnyard Professor of Western American History, University of Tulsa


?Print the Legend privileges the lecture course or seminar on the American West with a wisdom unavailable in standard histories. By taking the narrative into previously unexplored territory, the reader gains a richer understanding about the place, its history, and its many interpreters.??L.G. Moses, Department of History, Oklahoma State University


?In the West, perhaps more than anywhere else in the United States, Americans think that pictures tell the story, but western photographs are as treacherous as they are compelling. Their seeming simplicity masks their ideological complexity, and no one that I have read conveys their interest and elucidates their complexity and treachery as wonderfully as Martha Sandweiss. This is not a book about debunking the West; it is a book about how the production and consumption of photographs has produced multiple Wests.??Richard White, Stanford University


"An engrossing account of the ways in which early photographers created a triumphalist version of the American West. From daguerreotype to wet plate to Kodak, from painting to wood cut to lithograph, Professor Sandweiss explores the visual imagery of the West and the westward movement. A pioneering study and a readable story."?Robert M. Utley, author of Lone Star Legend: The First Century of the Texas Rangers


"Deliciously intelligent. . . . Again and again, Sandweiss proves how spectacle, myth, and legend trump reality by way of slaking our thirsty imaginations. . . . Rarely are photo histories this well written?so engrossing you can?t stop reading."?Michael More, Albuquerque Journal North


"It offers a context for modern students to see the past, to understand the issues of cultural heritage, to appreciate that many Indians insisted on photographs, and to comprehend that Indian photography occurred in a bicultural context. . . . Sandweiss grants the boon of offering a stellar example of how to address controversial issues in a scholarly way. . . . [The book] provides valuable information and context for the greater understanding of the American Indian experience from a non-Indian studies perspective. [It] offers images and interpretation of the Indian experience not found elsewhere."?Greg Gagnon, American Indian Quarterly


?What makes Sandweiss?s account so striking is her skillful linkage of technology, material form, economic imperative, and cultural utility. . . . A rich and superbly documented argument about the importance of narrative in photography of the American West. [Sandweiss is] a supreme storyteller. . . . Print the Legend might well be called Martha Sandweiss?s magnum opus, so brilliantly does it demonstrate the power of locating photographic history in the social, political, and economic contexts that created visual images and that provided the setting for their interpretation.??Steven Hoelscher, American Quarterly


"A sophisticated and engaging exploration of photography and the West not seen since the Goetzmans (pere et fils) offered up West of the Imagination in the mid-Eighties. With its interdisciplinary focus, multicultural breadth, and the assumption that cultural images are essentially powerful social constructions, Print the Legend lays bare a trove of historical photographs as ?sources of meaning in and of themselves?. . . . Through lucid prose, an obvious and genuine admiration for her documents, and a tendency to push her thesis with Sisyphean determination, [Sandweiss] decisively shows how ?photographers working in the West understood the potential historical value of their work?. . . . A really handsome work."?James McWilliams, Austin (TX) Chronicle


?Art historians interested in nineteenth-century photography in the United States should get their hands on a copy, because for them this book is not merely important but indispensable. . . . This book reads not only as a summation of many well-spent years in the archives, but also as a summation of a certain moment in the historical study of photography. . . . Sandweiss has given us an essential addition to the literature on nineteenth-century American photography, which is a profound and very welcome achievement.??Robin Kelsey, CAA Reviews


"Art historians interested in nineteenth-century photography in the United States should get their hands on a copy, because for them this book is not merely important but indispensable. . . . Scholars will be paying their respects to Sandweiss for generations to come. . . . This book reads not only as a summation of many well-spent years in the archives, but also as a summation of a certain moment in the historical study of photography. . . . The virtues of this splendid book will endure. Sandweiss has given us an essenti