Track A, History of Street Photographers, Part 7

Part 7

Raw, Naked Art

Read Part 6 or view Index to start at the beginning.

Part 7 – The Rule Making Epoch–Siskind to Cartier-Bresson

Helen Levitt, Two boys covered in white powder, ca. 1940 Helen Levitt, Two boys covered in white powder, ca. 1940

As I stated in Part 4 of this series, there is substantial overlap between the street photography epochs we describe. Rather than being purely sequential time periods, as the word epoch might suggest, they are instead groups that represent the overall norms that describe the period in which photographers began their work. The Rule Making epoch is no different. In terms of time period, the Rule Making epoch begins with street photographers who took up the camera starting in around 1929, just as the Great Depression began, and ends in the post-World War II mid-1940s.

There were two phenomena that made these a natural demarcation point. First, of course, was the Depression itself, which caused major cultural shifts throughout the…

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