The V&A Photography Collection is one of the earliest in existence, dating back to the foundation of the Museum in the 1850s. Through 100 of its most important photographs, this book tells the fascinating story of how the new medium of photography was embraced by a new kind of museum, which concerned itself with the arts of everyday life and with a large popular audience. Illustrations and text show how photography was perceived initially as art, then later as a powerful means of communication offering a compelling window on the world and still later - from the 1960s - as a fashionable art medium once again. Its shifting identity is vividly demonstrated by the work of such highly acclaimed and diverse talents as Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Steichen, Eugene Atget, Man Ray, Bill Brandt, David Bailey, Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin.
Mark Haworth-Booth, Curator of Photographs at the V&A, has worked closely with many of the great photographers of modern times. His insight and experience illuminates the subject for students and all those interested in the art and techniques of photography. His many published works include Early Photographic Processes (with Brian Coe, 1983), The Golden Age of British Photography, 1839-1900 (1984), Bill Brandt, Behind the Camera (1986), Photography Now (1989) and Camille Silvy's 'River Scene, France', (1992).