Photography as an Art

The purchase of a book of photographs of 1930s Mexico gets the good doctor thinking about the notion of photography as art in the November edition of New English Review.

Perhaps an eye can be inculcated early in human life; there have been, after all, periods in history when good taste was pretty general and was therefore not only a matter of individual preference, but social upbringing; nevertheless, there probably exist persons who are irredeemably refractory to all aesthetic judgment of what they see. Even worse, of course, are those who positively like the ugly, or at any rate claim to like it for extra-aesthetic reasons such as that it represents the cutting edge, the avant garde, or some other foolish notion born of the notion that art, like science, progresses.

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