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

 Whatever else a photograph may be about, it is inevitably about photography, the container and vehicle of all its meanings. 
 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. 
 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) 
 Pure photography is a system of picture-making that describes more or less faithfully what might be seen through a rectangular frame from a particular vantage point at a given moment. 
 [Snapshots were] pure and unadulterated photographs, and sometimes they hinted at the existence of visual truths that had escaped all other systems of detection. 
 Photography has learned about its nature not only from its great masters, but also from the simple and radical works of photographers of modest aspiration and small renown. 
 Photography is a contest between a photographer and the presumptions of approximate and habitual seeing. The contest can be held anywhere... 
 The photographer’s vision convinces us to the degree that the photographer hides his hand. 
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