Nathan Lyons: Selected Essays, Lectures, and Interviews

Hardcover | June 15, 2012

EditorJessica S. McDonald

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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 Important unpublished lectures are presented here, most significantly “Photography and the Picture Experience,” Lyons’s groundbreaking lecture on the snapshot, and “Sequential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 Two selections in this volume are drawn from rare unpublished audio recordings made by Lyons in the 1960s: the first, a 1965 interview with Paul Strand on the subject of photographic books, and the second, an extensive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.

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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 inde...

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.

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Format: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 ColemanAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Persistence of VisionPart I: ArtistNathan Lyons“Comment” in Under the Sun: The Abstract Art of Camera Vision1960Nathan LyonsStatement in Notations in Passing, 1970: Photographs by Nathan Lyons from the Collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa1971James BorcomanIntroduction to Notations in Passing, 1970: Photographs by Nathan Lyons from the Collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa1971Penny CousineauFrom a review of Notations in Passing: Visualized by Nathan Lyons1976Thomas DuganFrom “Nathan Lyons”1979Bob RogersFrom “Messages in a Bottle”1986Adam D. WeinbergPreface to Riding 1st Class on the Titanic! Photographs by Nathan Lyons1999Vicki Goldberg“Subtle Juxtapositions from a Diffident Force for Change”2000Keith A. Smith“Homage to Nathan”2003Leroy F. Searle“Concerning the Power of the Preposition: The Photographs of Nathan Lyons”2004Marvin Bell“The Book of the Dead Man (Sign Language)”2011Part II: Curator, Critic, TheoristNathan Lyons“To the Spirit of a Time: In Consideration”1960Nathan LyonsForeword to Photography ’63: An International Exhibition1963Nathan LyonsForeword to Photography ’64: An Invitational Exhibition1964Nathan LyonsIntroduction to Aaron Siskind: Photographer1965Nathan LyonsFrom an unpublished interview with Paul Strand1965Nathan Lyons“Critic’s Choice: ‘Meaning Must Come from the Picture Itself’"1965Nathan LyonsFrom an unpublished conversation with Garry Winogrand and Simpson Kalisher1966Nathan LyonsIntroduction to Photographers on Photography: A Critical Anthology1966Nathan LyonsIntroduction to Toward a Social Landscape1966Nathan Lyons“Photography and the Picture Experience”1967Nathan LyonsIntroduction to Photography in the Twentieth Century1967Nathan LyonsIntroduction to The Persistence of Vision1967William D. Tammeus“Focused on Protest”1968Nathan LyonsIntroduction to Vision and Expression1969Nathan Lyons"Collecting Photographs as Picture Resources for Research"1975Nathan Lyons“Sequential Considerations”1975Nathan Lyons“Les Krims”1976Nathan Lyons“The Photographic Sequence”1980Candida FinkelFrom “Photography as Modern Art: The Influence of Nathan Lyons and John Szarkowski on the Public’s Acceptance of Photography as Fine Art”1981Robert HirschFrom “Nathan Lyons on the Snapshot”1992Joel EisingerFrom Trace and Transformation: American Criticism of Photography in the Modernist Period1995Anne Wilkes TuckerFrom “Lyons, Szarkowski, and the Perception of Photography”2007Part III: EducatorNathan LyonsFrom “The Workshop Idea in Photography”1961Nathan Lyons“A Joint Program in Photographic Studies / State University of New York at Buffalo & George Eastman House”1968Barbara ConfinoFrom “‘Photography Is Not an Art: It Is a Model of Perception‘”1973Nathan Lyons“Triangulating Misology: ‘. . . To Mistake the Trappings of Intellectual Authority for Its Substance’”1979Joan FontcubertaFrom “Interview with Nathan Lyons”1990Maria Antonella PelizzariFrom “Nathan Lyons: An Interview”1997Anne Wilkes Tucker, Willis Hartshorn, Mark Klett, and James BorcomanFrom “Testimonials from Students of the Visual Studies Workshop”1999Nathan Lyons: ChronologySelected BibliographyIndex