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Committee Members

Karla Huebner (Committee Member), Tracy Longley-cook (Committee Member), Donovan Miyasaki (Committee Chair)

Degree Name

Master of Humanities (MHum)


The conjoined relationship photography has with technology complicates conversations about photography as art because this relationship allows photography to be used interchangeably for practical, social, and commercial purposes, as well as for art. A theory of art for photography is needed in order to accurately separate photographic art from vernacular photography. I show that photography has a unique relationship with technology, which has served to promote the rapid democratization of photography, and that the photographic arts have been treated differently from the greater fine arts. This is especially evident when photographic portraiture is compared with painted portraiture. I offer my own "value perspective" theory as a solution to the problem and show why photography cannot accept existing theories of art by George Dickie, Arthur Danto, or R.G. Collingwood.

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Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.