From its experimental origins to the rise of digital technologies, photography has acquired a central role within the art world. This has resulted in an ever-increasing number of dedicated festivals, exhibitions, collections and prizes. The medium also commands a strong position with the art market, appearing in specialist art fairs and auctions and major contemporary art sales. Consequently, debates on photography cover a wide variety of topics, from the emergence of the modernist tradition to the forms of visual communication produced by platforms such as Instagram.
This course will examine photography’s changing status as an art form from the early twentieth century to the present day; tracing its movement to the centre of the art world and the global art market. It will explore the major artists, exhibitions and movements which secured photography’s current position and assess the medium’s future. The course also includes sessions on various aspects of the market, including prints and editioning, valuing photographs and the legal issues that surround art photography.
Students will learn from the expertise of our in-house specialists and a diverse programme of guest speakers, including leading market experts, artists and curators. The course adopts a wide variety of teaching formats, from lectures and group discussions to class visits to public, private and commercial collections and exhibitions. It also includes a historical techniques workshop in which we will make our own tin-types. On completion of Photography, History and the Market, students will be able to analyse and discuss art photography and its position within the art world.