Professor Adam Jolles has been awarded two fellowships to conduct research in summer 2019 toward his next book, on art photography in the United States after World War II. He received the Minor White Archive Research Grant to undertake research in May at the Princeton University Art Museum, and the Harold Jones and Frances Murray Research Fellowship to visit the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson in August. The research will be incorporated into an upcoming book, co-authored with Josh Ellenbogen at the University of Pittsburgh, on the postwar institutional history of photography in the United States.
The archival work Dr. Jolles is currently undertaking concerns the practice of photo-criticism as a genre of writing after 1950, chiefly through Aperture, Contemporary Photographer, and Image magazines. It aims to locate the intersection of this critical writing with actual artistic initiatives from the time, especially the work these journals championed. His research will also examine the relationship between photo-criticism and photo-curation, the practice of which expanded considerably during this period. The transition of photographs onto museum walls forced curators and institutions to contend with and to develop historically specific theories of visual communication, spectatorship, and for modeling audiences. He hopes to identify the criteria curators and critics established for determining historically significant photographic processes, genres, practitioners, and desirable specimens for collecting; the topics they identified as worthy of focused investigation in their exhibition programming; and the gallery conventions they adopted for displaying both contemporary and historical photography in the museum.