Delivering views: distant cultures in early postcards

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Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998 - Photography - 199 pages
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The six contributors to this illustrated volume show how images of Plains Indians, World's Fair cards, and portraits from Africa, the Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan documented distant cultures but also reinforced Western biases by emphasizing the seemingly vast cultural differences between viewers and subjects. The authors discuss the differences between original photographs and their postcard equivalents, and they explore in detail common practices - such as artificial settings, costumes and props, colorization, and patronizing captions - that perpetuated racist, sexist, and romantic stereotypes. Drawing on anthropological, historical, and art historical analyses, contributors examine examples from both public and private collections, tracing the postcard's overlapping roles as souvenir, collectible, and popular art form.

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Review: Delivering Views: Distant Cultures in Early Postcards

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

This book is a visual delight, but more importantly it tries to comment on the arrogance of the Euro-American gaze towards indigenous people, especially as reproduced through these postcards of the late 19th and early 20th century. Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION Views on Postcards 1 VIRGINIALEE WEBB
1
SOUVENIRS OF IMPERIALISM
47
SYMBOLS SOUVENIRS AND SENTIMENTS
65
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Christraud M. Geary is the Curator of the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution. A cultural anthropologist with a doctorate from the University of Frankfurt, German, Geary is the author of several books and numerous essays on photography in Africa and the arts of the Cameroon Grassfields.
Kryzstof Pluskota is an independent scholar, based in Sweden.

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