Should Photojournalism or Documentary Photography Be Considred Art?

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"A photograph is not merely a substitute for a glance. It is a sharpened vision. It is the revelation of new and important facts." ("Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History."). Sid Grossman, a Photo League photographer expressed this sentiment, summarizing the role photography had on America in the 1940’s and 50’s. During this era, photojournalism climaxed, causing photographers to join the bandwagon or react against it. The question of whether photography can be art was settled a long time ago. Most major museums now have photography departments, and the photographs procure pretty hefty prices. The question of whether photojournalism or documentary photography can be art is now the question at hand. Art collectors are constantly looking…show more content…
He felt that FSA photographers used stylistic elements such as sharp focus, even lighting, and frontal composition to mark their images as factual and that they should be read as unbiased. He felt that the work should be described as documentary style.
American photographers of the late 1950’s and 60’s reinvented the documentary tradition. Photographers like Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, and lee Friedlander looked at the world through the “astonish-me” viewpoint. Diane Nemerove, or better known as Diane Arbus, was an American Documentary Photographer known for her compelling, yet often disturbing portraits of people from the edges of society. An example is the 1962 image of The Boy with the Hand Grenade in Central Park. As a native New Yorker, Diane Arbus photographed the people of the city, but not just the everyday. Arbus sought out those at the edge of society. She depicts the daily life, but with an emphasis on the abnormality of the commonplace. When looking at the image of the boy in 1962, the child seems no different from other children; his facial expression communicating a frustration beyond the specific image. You see a boy with the strap of his shorts awkwardly hanging from his shoulder, with his arms tense and his hands clenched in frustration; a toy replica hand grenade in his

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