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

 [Snapshots were] pure and unadulterated photographs, and sometimes they hinted at the existence of visual truths that had escaped all other systems of detection. 
 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) 
 The photographer’s vision convinces us to the degree that the photographer hides his hand. 
 Whatever else a photograph may be about, it is inevitably about photography, the container and vehicle of all its meanings. 
 Photography is a contest between a photographer and the presumptions of approximate and habitual seeing. The contest can be held anywhere... 
 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. 
 Photography’s central sense of purpose and aesthetic: the precise and lucid description of significant fact. 
 Like an organism, photography was born whole. It is in our progressive discovery of it that its history lies. 
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