6:4-5) — are used to illustrate an extensive text in which the photographer-journalist himself exposes and denounces the squalid, inhuman conditions of life in the slums of New York, Annan offers no clue as to his own intentions or his own understanding of his work. The Old Closes & Streets of Glasgow. One thinks immediately of Gibbon’s. Other scholars give a figure of 100 copies each for both the Annan and the MacLehose publications. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1890), p. 63. 2, 1927-1934 [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999], p. 526), 129 John Tagg, The Burden of Representation: Essays on Photographies and Histories (Basingstoke: Macmillan Education, 1988), pp. “Midnight Scenes and Social Photographs,” pp. And second, is social documentary photography, as has sometimes been alleged, ultimately voyeuristic and exploitative, an act of aggression toward its “subjects”? He did this for pictorial effect, for nice balance.”, Among Annan’s own contemporaries, the Rev. In the volumes on the country houses, the old College of Glasgow, and the Loch Katrine Water Works, the texts, as noted earlier, are by others. Cf. 6:6 O. G. Rejlander, Swedish/English, 1813-1875, No title (The Virgin in Prayer). A man of liberal and Christian commitment, he would have welcomed the reforms and approved the legislation of the Civic Improvement Trust for whom he carried out the commission.” (p. 43) See likewise Normand, Scottish Photography: A History: “Annan was a religious man, an advocate of abstention from alcohol, and something of a socially conscious reformer. He must have explored the wynds at length, waiting for the best time of day, when light crept in. 21-24), and in 1914 an entire number of the journal was devoted to J.C. Annan and his work. Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow, 1868-77 37 carbon prints [lacking three plates, nos.2, 19, 30 from the published set of 40] each with printed title and number on mount varying sizes from 10½ x 8¼in. 73 Damer, Glasgow: Going for a Song, p. 76; Michael Pacione, Glasgow: The Socio-spatial Development of the City, p. 117. It was followed soon after, in 1878, by a second album, produced in response to a request from some members of the Improvement Trust that “a copy, in the form of an album, of the series of photographs taken some time ago of the more interesting portions of the City, since, to a great extent, demolished by the operations of the Improvement Scheme, should be furnished to each member of the Trust.” This album, of which some sixty copies were produced in heavy crushed green morocco binding, included nine additional photographs. Thomas Annan, ‘No.80 High Street’. OpenEdition est un portail de ressources électroniques en sciences humaines et sociales. 129-49) and Luc Boltanski and Jean-Claude Chamberdon (pp. 42-43, on Annan’s “quiet, contemplative photographs.”. a similar comment on the iconography of famine in Africa, which belatedly purports to stir the conscience of viewers and has turned the popular image of the continent into one of “a desperate, poor, passive victim”: “We can easily lament the limitations of famine iconography, especially the way it homogenises, anthropomorphises, infantilises and impoverishes. Hence Glasgow Corporation’s commissioning Annan to record the construction of the Loch Katrine waterworks; the Canadian Grand Trunk Railway’s commissioning William Notman to make a photographic record of the building of the Victoria Bridge over the St. Lawrence; or James Mayer de Rothschild’s commissioning Édouard Baldus, around the same time, to record the construction of the railway from Boulogne to Paris, Lyon and the Mediterranean. 13-72), Robert Castel and Dominique Schnapper (pp. (Edinburgh: Alex Hill, 1832). of. Conditions were appalling. The figure of sixty copies for the 1878 album may well be on the low side, according to Sonny Maley of Glasgow University Library. Financed in part by J.P. Morgan, this textual account of the native Americans, containing 1,500 small plates and 722 large gravures, “was printed on hand-made paper, [...] bound with irregularly grained Morocco leather, and published in a limited edition of 500 sets that sold for $5,000 each.” As Shelley Rice observes, “The subjects of Curtis’s photographs might be the dispossessed of American society but the intended audience certainly was not. A notable example of such symbolic appropriation might well be t, Nevertheless — and this is the second of the two issues I would like to explore briefly — a major criticism remains to be considered, one that goes to the heart of any photography that presents itself as having a social documentary intent while at the same time pursuing formal and compositional goals, and that thus necessarily affects Annan’s work in some measure. (Glasgow: Duthie, 1868), sections on “Trongate and Cross” and “The Parks: in connection with view of West-End Park.”(Pages unnumbered), On the “Missions héliographiques” and on Marville, see André Gunthert, “L’Institution du photographique: Le roman de la Société héliographique” (as in endnote 5 above); Eugenia Janis, “Demolition picturesque: Photographs of Paris in 1852 and 1858 by Henri Le Secq,” in, Perspectives on Photography: Essays in Honor of Beaumont Newhall, According to De Thézy, Marville’s commission dated from 1865 and resulted within three years in an album of 425 images. in Dominique de Font-Réaulx, Painting and Photography 1839-1914 [Paris: Flammarion, 2012], p. 122) In our own time Susan Sontag has insisted that a distinctive individual style is less characteristic of photographers than of painters inasmuch as photography remains more bound to an impersonal representation of its subject matter: “A photographer is not like a painter, the role of the photographer being recessive in much of serious picture-taking and virtually irrelevant in all the ordinary uses. In his essay “The Urban Landscape between Progress and Decay” (Studies in Photography , 5-9) James Lawson argues that photography is by its very nature closely associated with time and change: “Photography [...] simultaneously affirms objective fact and draws attention to the contingent nature of that fact. In 1860, Thomas Sutton, the editor of, , the journal of the Photographic Society of Scotland and the Manchester Photographic Society, was more specific: “Although photography is certainly a mechanical means of representing nature, yet, when we compare a really fine photograph with an ordinary mechanical view, we are compelled to admit that it exhibits mind, and appreciation of the beautiful and skill of selection and treatment of the subject on the part of the photographer, to a degree that constitute him an artist in a high sense of the word.”, Photographers were even urged sometimes to model themselves on painters — though this strategy did not necessarily coincide with cultivation of the picturesque. (Their vulnerability to extreme weather conditions results in frequent loss of power to thousands of homes.) ix-x) Two decades later James Pagan again referred to “the vast extent of the iron and engineering trades of Glasgow” and described Charles Tennant’s St. Rollox chemical works, founded in 1800, as “the most extensive manufactory of the kind in the world, covering a space of upwards of ten acres”—soon to be 100 acres—and employing over a thousand workers (Fig. A man of liberal and Christian commitment, he would have welcomed the reforms and approved the legislation of the Civic Improvement Trust for whom he carried out the commission.” (p. 43) See likewise Normand, : “Annan was a religious man, an advocate of abstention from alcohol, and something of a socially conscious reformer. “Midnight Scenes and Social Photographs,” pp. Engraved by Annan from Photographs taken for...City of Glasgow Improvement Trust. Several critics have pointed out that the decision to demolish had already been taken before Annan moved in with his camera, and that his assignment was simply to record a significant piece of the city’s past that was about to be destroyed.88 Contrary to what is often argued or simply assumed,89 it is thus unlikely, these critics hold, that he “used his camera as a social weapon,” photographing the old closes and streets of Glasgow in order to draw attention to urban blight and promote action to correct it. 173-79), http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acref/9780198662716.001.0001, Thus, according to Peter Baron Hales, reviewing possible anticipations of Jacob Riis’s “social documentary” photographs in his, ] might only loosely be considered sociological” (, Silver Cities: The Photography of American Urbanization 1839-1939, [Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2005], p. 297). Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search, The best-known, most widely-admired, and most problematical of Annan’s architectural photographs make up the collection known as. Then, in 1862, the Glasgow Police Act allowed the municipality to regulate small dwelling places (under 3,000 cubic feet), assess the maximum number of inhabitants permitted in each (on the basis of 300 cubic feet per adult and 150 cubic feet per child), “ticket” the dwelling accordingly with a tinplate disc screwed to the door and have the sanitary police carry out inspections during the night to ensure that the “ticketed” maximum had not been overstepped.77 Apparently this measure was not effective, for it was decided only three years later to proceed to a complete demolition of the dilapidated, overcrowded and filthy tenements as the only effective remedy. Richard Howard (New York: Hill and Wang, 1981), p. 4. Instead of the albumen prints of the first album, however, Annan made use, for this second album, of Joseph Swan’s carbon process.83 Finally, in 1900, Annan’s son, James Craig Annan, brought out a larger photogravure edition, referred to above (p. 7), with additional photographs by the Annan firm — but not by Thomas Annan himself. These engravings were published in a Report of the Council of Hygiene and Public Health of the Citizens’ Association of New York (New York: D. Appleton, 1865) several years before Annan began photographing the old closes and streets of Glasgow. ©CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collection: The Mitchell Library, Special Collections. 230-31), quoted by Engels, Condition of the Working Class, ed. It appears almost certain, in short, that there was little, if any, connection for this seemingly social documentary photographer between viewing and acting, recording and intervening. A verbal text does not have to be defined solely by its ostensible genre or function: some historical or biographical narratives, some works of political or economic theory or of philosophy are also, by common consent, great works of literature. 37 High Street,” from. French. 42As urbanization proceeded apace in the nineteenth century and the traditional fabric and appearance of cities underwent drastic transformations, similar commissions were issued in other cities, notably Paris. (London: Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, 1844), The text relates directly to Plate VI, “The Open Door.” On the view of Talbot’s calotype as facilitating the practice of photography as an art (in contrast to the mechanical accuracy of the daguerreotype), see Sara Stevenson, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), pp. , Plate 18. 75 High Street,” from. Population figures given by Rev. Here below are some of his photographs of old Glasgow from the late 1860s that show streets and life of slums of Glasgow. Download a larger version of this image About this artwork. Do they convey the alleged degradation and dehumanization of the slum’s inhabitants or could they be intended, in contrast, to manifest the inhabitants’ humanity? As it happens, there is sometimes a tension in Chimacoff’s own photographic work that is strikingly similar to Annan’s. 30, pp. A work from the collections of the de Young and Legion of Honor museums of San Francisco, CA. Nevertheless, as Roland Barthes has powerfully argued, the referential function in photography — where the referent, unlike the content of Jakobson’s verbal message, is a particular, concrete object — is fundamental in a way that distinguishes photography from painting or discourse. Cover design. Annan is now best known for his series of photographs, made between 1868 and his death in 1887, documenting the narrow streets of the inner-city slums of Glasgow. On measures taken to deal with slum conditions, both nationally and locally, in the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century, see C.M. It is entirely possible, of course, that other photographers learned from Annan’s work to produce images with a reformist intent. 76-77, 115. Or should they be viewed rather in the context of the esthetic of the “picturesque”— a mid-nineteenth-century anticipation, according to many scholars, of the Pictorialism advocated by Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen at the end of the century and in the early decades of the twentieth? and ed. By visiting our website or transacting with us, you agree to this. Indeed, Hooper may well have come disturbingly close to the situation imagined by Guillaume Apollinaire in his short story, “Un beau film” of 1901, and by the French director Bertrand Tavernier in his mordant movie, “La Mort en direct,” of 1980 (“shot,” as it happens, in Glasgow), in which the desire to photograph real scenes of extreme human violence or anguish leads the artist wielding a camera to provoke such scenes for the purpose of recording them. Though “the ‘Photographs’ present a tone painfully dark and gloomy [...], they are not creations of the brain, but so far as the writer’s knowledge of the art extends — they are truthful [...]; as they occurred, so have they been given.”. On the contrary, there are few signs of refuse in them and the lines of washing hung out over them in many of the pictures —“Annan’s slumdwellers are perplexingly fastidious launderers of linen,” one scholar remarks107 — not only suggest a concern with cleanliness on the part of the inhabitants but provide a formally effective horizontal complement to the high, somber and close-packed verticals of the walls. 'Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow' a series of engravings by Thomas Annan from photographs taken for the City of Glasgow Improvement Trust. This resulted in the landmark series of photographs, Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow, which was published between 1868 and 1877. The book’s claim to realism was underscored not only by the use of the common Glasgow dialect among the characters encountered or interviewed by the narrator but, above all, by the photographic metaphor in the title, photographs being still widely considered impartial and objective copies of reality made with no input from the photographer other than his technical skill. Hence Glasgow Corporation’s commissioning Annan to record the construction of the Loch Katrine waterworks; the Canadian Grand Trunk Railway’s commissioning William Notman to make a photographic record of the building of the Victoria Bridge over the St. Lawrence; or James Mayer de Rothschild’s commissioning Édouard Baldus, around the same time, to record the construction of the railway from Boulogne to Paris, Lyon and the Mediterranean. After training and working as … 36-57 [p. 48]). , Plate 22. , with an Introduction by M.W. Liza Picard examines how industrialisation altered the building of cities and affected the different social classes living within them. 207-309, and Tom Normand, Margaret Harker, “From Mansion to Close,” p. 91. vii and ix), , p. 76. This was published by the T. & R. Annan Company in a limited edition of 100 copies and by James MacLehose, the University publisher, in an edition of 150 copies. 28The alleys are dark and rundown, to be sure, but not especially dirty. 6:11 Thomas Annan, “Old Vennel off High Street,” from Glasgow Improvements Act 1866, Plate 14. ibid., p. 111) The predilection of photography, from the outset, for the hidden, “the unofficial reality behind the façade of bourgeois life,” for “uncovering a hidden truth, conserving a vanishing past,” and for “discovering beauty in the humble, the inane, the decrepit” and in what was often seen as ugly, is, of course, a central theme of Susan Sontag’s now classic, (1973); see especially, pp. The strength of Annan’s work may well lie precisely in its ability to stimulate a variety of different readings and responses corresponding to the function that the viewer chooses to perceive as dominant.133, 47Nevertheless, as Roland Barthes has powerfully argued, the referential function in photography — where the referent, unlike the content of Jakobson’s verbal message, is a particular, concrete object — is fundamental in a way that distinguishes photography from painting or discourse. — are removed from the photogravure edition of 1900. 1:24-25), does Annan exploit and update the traditional “Cries of London” genre: stereotypes of street people or “nomades,” as Thomson describes them, such as the costermonger, the pie-man, the flower-seller, the sweep, the shoe-black, the rat-catcher, the “Jew old-clothes man”— all of whom, as Thomas Prasch has pointed out, represent “marginal” and “static forms of labor largely unchanged by the forces of industrial society.”. 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