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Photography as we know it has been shaped by both great photographers and from thinkers who have had the courage to share their creative ideas and take bold risks. In this article, we'll be covering 7 important figures (among many others that exist) who have influenced photography with their ideas more than with their photographs.
John Szarkowski (1925 – 2007)
Perhaps we wouldn't be able to delight ourselves with the magnificent work of Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander or Garry Winogrand if it wasn't for John Szarkowski. He was a photographer, curator, historian, and critic and best known for his role as the Director of Photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art where he worked for almost 30 years. Thanks to his grand efforts, photography became recognized as art by the public.
I really don't know if he was the most influential figure of photography during the twentieth century; but for me he is a big hero. He went against all odds and elevated not just photography, but Street Photography to a pristine state in the world. If doing that wasn't bold enough, he was responsible for the first exhibition of color photography at MoMA featuring works from William Eggleston. The decision was extremely controversial but had a happy ending because after transferring his position to Peter Galassi, Szarkowski returned to his beloved passion of simply making photographs.
Roy Stryker (1893 – 1975)