Beyond the Architect’s Eye:
Photographs and the American Built Environment

Thu, Jul 21, 2011
University of Pennsylvania Press

Typical architectural photography freezes buildings in an ideal moment and rarely captures what photographer Berenice Abbott called the medium’s power to depict “how the past jostled the present.” In Beyond the Architect’s Eye, Mary N. Woods expands on this range of images through a rich analysis that commingles art, amateur, and documentary photography, genres usually not considered architectural but that often take the built environment as their subject.

Woods explores how photographers used their built environment to capture the disparate American landscapes prior to World War II, when urban and rural areas grew further apart in the face of skyscrapers, massive industrialization, and profound cultural shifts.

Mary Woods

Mary N. Woods is Michael A. McCarthy Professor of Architectural Theory at Cornell University; she is the author of From Craft to Profession: The Practice of Architecture in Nineteenth-Century America.