We browse a 1914 edition of American Photography magazine published in the same month that WWI began
In this video we thumb through every page of an American Photography magazine issue published July, 1914, making it 106 years old at the time of this video. Still, a lot of familiar brand names can be spotted in the ads.
There’s a strong emphasis on Pictorial photography, an artistic style of soft-focus imagery popular at the time, thanks to the influence of Alfred Stieglitz. The prevailing belief was that Pictorialist photography could put photography on par with painting as an art form.
Published on the same month that WWI began
One thing that’s evident is how popular the practice of photography had become across the nation, based on the number of letters published and the abundance of photography club news seen in this issue. America was growing and prosperous, but storm clouds were brewing. The month this issue landed on newsstands, Archduke Ferdinand had just been assassinated, and WWI began in this very same month.
Art Nouveau design elements
The magazine’s cover illustration style and clip art elements have a strong art nouveau influence, even though the magazine was published on the cusp of what is considered the art deco period. Art nouveau was influential from roughly 1890 – 1910-ish, followed by art deco style which ran through the 1930s.
History of American Photography magazine
American Photography began publishing in 1907 after the merger of three other photography magazines. It continued absorbing other photo magazines throughout its years of publication, which ended in 1953. That year, it was purchased by Ziff-Davis Publishing Company and was itself merged into Popular Photography magazine.
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