Nathan Lyons: Selected Essays, Lectures, and Interviews by Jessica S. McDonaldNathan Lyons: Selected Essays, Lectures, and Interviews by Jessica S. McDonald

Nathan Lyons: Selected Essays, Lectures, and Interviews

EditorJessica S. McDonald

Hardcover | June 15, 2012

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As a curator, theorist, educator, artist, and powerful advocate, Nathan Lyons has played a central role in the expansion of photography over the last five decades. After producing seminal exhibitions and publications as curator at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, in the 1960s, he founded the Visual Studies Workshop, an independent arts organization where his innovative programs trained a new generation of photographers, critics, curators, and historians. Nathan Lyons: Selected Essays, Lectures, and Interviews provides the first comprehensive overview of Lyons’s career as one of the most important voices in American photography.

Of primary importance in this volume are Lyons’s own writings, gathered here for the first time. These include essays and articles formulated while Lyons was a young curator, as well as early statements about his own artistic practice and his emerging philosophy of photographic education. Important unpublished lectures are presented here, most significantly “Photography and the Picture Experience,” Lyons’s groundbreaking lecture on the snapshot, and “Sequential Considerations,” addressing photographic sequence and visual books. Lyons’s recent projects bring this volume up to the present.

Contributions from other scholars include essays by James Borcoman, Joel Eisinger, Vicki Goldberg, Keith Smith, Anne Wilkes Tucker, and Adam D. Weinberg. Also featured are interviews with Lyons by Maria Antonella Pelizzari, Thomas Dugan, Bob Rogers, and Robert Hirsch, and a newly translated interview by Joan Fontcuberta. Two selections in this volume are drawn from rare unpublished audio recordings made by Lyons in the 1960s: the first, a 1965 interview with Paul Strand on the subject of photographic books, and the second, an extensive discussion with photographers Simpson Kalisher and Garry Winogrand recorded in 1966.

About The Author

Jessica S. McDonald is Assistant Curator of Photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and a doctoral candidate in the Visual and Cultural Studies program at the University of Rochester, New York. She is the U.S. reviews editor for the journal Photography & Culture.

Details & Specs

Title:Nathan Lyons: Selected Essays, Lectures, and InterviewsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:301 pages, 10.26 × 7.35 × 1.2 inPublished:June 15, 2012Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292737718

ISBN - 13:9780292737716

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Table of Contents

  • Foreword by David Coleman
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Persistence of Vision
  • Part I: Artist
    • Nathan Lyons
      “Comment” in Under the Sun: The Abstract Art of Camera Vision, 1960
    • Nathan Lyons
      Statement in Notations in Passing, 1970: Photographs by Nathan Lyons from the Collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1971
    • James Borcoman
      Introduction to Notations in Passing, 1970: Photographs by Nathan Lyons from the Collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1971
    • Penny Cousineau
      From a review of Notations in Passing: Visualized by Nathan Lyons, 1976
    • Thomas Dugan
      From “Nathan Lyons”, 1979
    • Bob Rogers
      From “Messages in a Bottle”, 1986
    • Adam D. Weinberg
      Preface to Riding 1st Class on the Titanic! Photographs by Nathan Lyons, 1999
    • Vicki Goldberg
      “Subtle Juxtapositions from a Diffident Force for Change”, 2000
    • Keith A. Smith
      “Homage to Nathan”, 2003
    • Leroy F. Searle
      “Concerning the Power of the Preposition: The Photographs of Nathan Lyons”, 2004
    • Marvin Bell
      “The Book of the Dead Man (Sign Language)”, 2011
  • Part II: Curator, Critic, Theorist
    • Nathan Lyons
      “To the Spirit of a Time: In Consideration”, 1960
    • Nathan Lyons
      Foreword to Photography ’63: An International Exhibition, 1963
    • Nathan Lyons
      Foreword to Photography ’64: An Invitational Exhibition, 1964
    • Nathan Lyons
      Introduction to Aaron Siskind: Photographer, 1965
    • Nathan Lyons
      From an unpublished interview with Paul Strand, 1965
    • Nathan Lyons
      “Critic’s Choice: ‘Meaning Must Come from the Picture Itself’", 1965
    • Nathan Lyons
      From an unpublished conversation with Garry Winogrand and Simpson Kalisher, 1966
    • Nathan Lyons
      Introduction to Photographers on Photography: A Critical Anthology, 1966
    • Nathan Lyons
      Introduction to Toward a Social Landscape, 1966
    • Nathan Lyons
      “Photography and the Picture Experience”, 1967
    • Nathan Lyons
      Introduction to Photography in the Twentieth Century, 1967
    • Nathan Lyons
      Introduction to The Persistence of Vision, 1967
    • William D. Tammeus
      “Focused on Protest”, 1968
    • Nathan Lyons
      Introduction to Vision and Expression, 1969
    • Nathan Lyons
      "Collecting Photographs as Picture Resources for Research", 1975
    • Nathan Lyons
      “Sequential Considerations”, 1975
    • Nathan Lyons
      “Les Krims”, 1976
    • Nathan Lyons
      “The Photographic Sequence”, 1980
    • Candida Finkel
      From “Photography as Modern Art: The Influence of Nathan Lyons and John Szarkowski on the Public’s Acceptance of Photography as Fine Art”, 1981
    • Robert Hirsch
      From “Nathan Lyons on the Snapshot”, 1992
    • Joel Eisinger
      From Trace and Transformation: American Criticism of Photography in the Modernist Period, 1995
    • Anne Wilkes Tucker
      From “Lyons, Szarkowski, and the Perception of Photography”, 2007
  • Part III: Educator
    • Nathan Lyons
      From “The Workshop Idea in Photography”, 1961
    • Nathan Lyons
      “A Joint Program in Photographic Studies / State University of New York at Buffalo & George Eastman House”, 1968
    • Barbara Confino
      From “‘Photography Is Not an Art: It Is a Model of Perception‘”, 1973
    • Nathan Lyons
      “Triangulating Misology: ‘. . . To Mistake the Trappings of Intellectual Authority for Its Substance’”, 1979
    • Joan Fontcuberta
      From “Interview with Nathan Lyons”, 1990
    • Maria Antonella Pelizzari
      From “Nathan Lyons: An Interview”, 1997
    • Anne Wilkes Tucker, Willis Hartshorn, Mark Klett, and James Borcoman
      From “Testimonials from Students of the Visual Studies Workshop”, 1999
  • Nathan Lyons: Chronology
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index