The cover of "How Photography Became Contemporary Art"

How Photography Became Contemporary Art

Andy Grundberg ’69

Grundberg, the New York Times’ photography critic from 1981–1991, had a front-row seat to (as he puts it in his introduction) “the remarkable rise of photography from the margins of art to its vital center, all within a span of 25 years.” In a volume published by Yale University Press and subtitled Inside an Artistic Revolution from Pop to the Digital Age, the former English major chronicles the medium’s rise in fine art circles, with accompanying images by such luminaries as Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe, Robert Rauschenberg, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol. “The maturation of Grundberg as a renowned critic coincides with the maturation of photography as an art form and its conquest of the art market,” the Washington Post says in a review. “With this fine book, he has given us a personal yet balanced account of how pictures define some of us and how we define some of them.”