Delivering Views: Distant Cultures in Early Postcards

Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press

Published by Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 1998
ISBN 10: 1560987596 / ISBN 13: 9781560987598
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Synopsis: The heyday of postcard production was also an era of rapidly expanding European and American control over the rest of the world. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, images of distant peoples from the Americas, Africa, Oceania, and Asia became ubiquitous souvenirs of imperialism.

The six contributors to this abundantly illustrated volume show how images of Plains Indians, World's Fair cards, and portraits from Africa, the Pacific Islands, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan documented distant cultures but also reinforced Western biases by emphasizing the seemingly vast cultural differences between viewers and subjects. The authors discuss the differences between original photographs and their postcard equivalents, and they explore in detail common practices -- such as artificial settings, costumes and props, colorization, and patronizing captions -- that perpetuated racist, sexist, and romantic stereotypes.

Drawing on anthropological, historical, and art historical analyses, contributors examine examples from both public and private collections, tracing the postcard's overlapping roles as souvenir, collectible, and popular art form. Showcasing 132 images, many of which have never before been published, the book concludes that early postcards both provide historical information about the peoples they depict and reveal Westerners' perceptions of -- and apprehensions about -- cultures that differed from their own.

About the Author: Christraud M. Geary is the curator of the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art.

Virginia-Lee Webb is the archivist of the photograph collection in the department of the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Title: Delivering Views: Distant Cultures in Early ...
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Book Description Smithsonian Institute Press, Washington, DC, 1998. Small Quarto: G/Fair: Green spine with off white text: DJ has heavy soiling and scratch/scuff marks to front, general shelfwear: Boards are soiled, some dust staining, general shelfwear: Textblock is clean and pages free of markings, folds or tears: 199 pp. Rockville. Bookseller Inventory # 7-40-1273316

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Book Description Smithsonian Institute Press, Washington, DC, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Square 4to. Dark green boards. 199pp. Profusely illustrated in color and b&w. Fine in very good dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 015552

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