“How to Make Good Pictures”: Manuals and the Popularization of Amateur Photography

May 16–July 30, 2012

The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, Mezzanine

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Amateur photography is integral to the history of the medium. Beginning in photography’s early years, handbooks, manuals, and instructional films played a key role in its popularization. This exhibition examines how several types of manuals promoted amateur photography of the pre-digital era. These include early technical manuals by amateurs, promotional manuals by manufacturers, tutorials by major modern artists, specialty how-to books, and vintage instructional films.

Organized by Jennifer Tobias, Reader Services Librarian, MoMA Library.
Cover detail, <i>Kodakery: A Journal for Amateur Photographers</i> 7, no. 9 (May 1920)

Cover detail, Kodakery: A Journal for Amateur Photographers 7, no. 9 (May 1920)