THE PHOTOGRAPHIC CONSTRUCTION OF TOURIST SPACE IN VICTORIAN AMERICA*

Authors


  • *

    I gratefully acknowledge Louisiana State University's Council on Faculty Research for a Summer Research Grant and the College of Arts and Sciences for a Research Fellowship for Non-Tenured Faculty; Oliver and Jean Reese of the H. H. Bennett Studio Foundation for their continued support of my research and for permission to reprint the illustrations in this article; and Nicolette Bromberg, William Cronon, Frank Goodyear, Peter B. Hales, Mark Klett, Martha Sandweiss, Joan Schwartz, Yi-Fu Tuan, and this journal's three anonymous reviewers for helping refine my arguments about landscape and photography.

Abstract

ABSTRACT. Tensions and contradictions surround photographic representations of landscape—and the practices that created those representations—during the medium's so-called golden age in the late nineteenth century. These are examined by focusing on the landscape views of H. H. Bennett, a photographer of considerable renown whose stereographs and oversized panoramas of the Wisconsin Dells transformed a working river into a picturesque landscape. Such a construction of genteel tourist space in Victorian America suggests a post-frontier aesthetic in which nature is valued less as an opportunity for progress or an occasion for terror than as pleasing scenery.

Ancillary