John Szarkowski
[Curator, critic, historian, and photographer, b. 1925, Ashland, Wisconsin, d. 2007, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.]

 The basic effect of modern mass media on photography has been to erode the creative independence and the accountability of the photographer who has worked for them. (1967) 
 A beginning photographer hopes to learn to use the medium to describe the truth. The intelligent journeyman has learned that there is not enough film to do that. 
 Photography was not invented to serve a clearly understood function. There was in fact widespread uncertainty, even among its inventors, as to what it might be good for. 
 [Snapshots were] pure and unadulterated photographs, and sometimes they hinted at the existence of visual truths that had escaped all other systems of detection. 
 I am not especially interested in anonymous photography, or avant-garde photography, or in straight, crooked, or any other subspecific category; I am interested in the entire, indivisible hairy beast—because in the real world, where photographs are made, these subspecies, or races, interbreed shamelessly and continually. (2006) 
 What’s happening is that people are making a billion photographs a year of their cats, frequently with the cats wearing costumes. Do you think I should be doing shows of cat photography? 
 Like an organism, photography was born whole. It is in our progressive discovery of it that its history lies. 
 Photography is a contest between a photographer and the presumptions of approximate and habitual seeing. The contest can be held anywhere... 
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