David Lowenthal has sent me his translation of an interview with the two curators of the exhibition Beyond Asphalt, which was held in Montpellier earlier this year. The interview provides other candidates for making documentary, as opposed to artistic, photographs of American roadtrips.
I didn’t know about Donald Appleyard, a British-born urban planner who studied at MIT, taught at Berkeley, and published The View from the Road in 1964.
Most people will probably know, but I didn’t, about the exhibition New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape, held in Rochester NY in 1975, which introduced a style of deadpan topographical photography ‘eschewing entirely the aspects of beauty, emotion and opinion’.
My third candidate is Chester Liebs who produced a book Main Street to Miracle Mile in 1985.
All of this research derives from David Lowenthal diplomatically pointing out that there are plenty of other people, himself included, who have established a tradition of non-fine art – maybe anti-fine art – documentary photography.