Photography’s evolution as an art form has been influenced by countless individuals, thematic styles, and chemical processes. Initially, photography was used largely to document what surrounded or intrigued the public eye. As more individuals began using cameras, the idea grew that photography could be a form of art in addition to a form of documentation. This captured the attention of many artists, most notably Alfred Stieglitz, who formed the Photo Secession and helped establish Pictorialism.
The 30 photographers included in this exhibition have extensive histories that span thematic periods and artistic styles. Taking their cues from Master Photographers like Edward Steichen, artists such as Berenice Abbott and Manuel Alvarez Bravo built on that foundation in order to explore the very art of photography. Utilizing their cameras, they created a new, modern vision for photography with a revised understanding of the camera and its capabilities. No longer tied to a pictorial past, these artists, and others, gave photography its own unique definition as an art form based solely on its ability to capture and create striking images. As a result, they too are considered Master Photographers.