Looking at Photography with Stephen Frailey

In 1973, John Szarkowski, the revered director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, published his classic volume Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art, offering a wide-ranging and accessible history of photography.

American photographer, writer and educator Stephen Frailey uses a unique format to showcase significant photographs from the 1980s to the present day in his new book, Looking at Photography, which features one work by 100 groundbreaking contemporary photographers and an accompanying text in a format inspired by John Szarkowski’s classic book Looking at Photographs. Through every turn of the page, readers are treated to notable photography next to a page of text sharing the significance of the photographer and their work. Frailey picks up where Szarkowski left off showcasing 100 significant photographs from the early 1980s to the present day. Through a focused discussion on each individual work, Frailey articulates the themes and emerging sensibility of contemporary photography.

LOOKING AT PHOTOGRAPHY IS A DISTILLATION OF MY THOUGHTS AND CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE MEDIUM THAT HAVE OCCURRED IN AND OUT OF THE CLASSROOM FOR THE PAST FORTY YEARS.”
– Stephen Frailey

Stephen Frailey answers questions from his wife, Mary Ehni during quarantine about his book Looking at Photography. Watch as Frailey shares his inspiration for writing a book that explores the various facets of photography genres all under one cover.

Get your copy of “Looking at Photography” by Stephen Frailey here.

About Stephen Frailey

Stephen Frailey is a photographer, curator and editor, and was the Chair of the Department of Photography and Video at the School of Visual Arts from 1998-2018 and is now Chair Emeritus. He is the founder and Editor of Dear Dave, magazine, and the Director of Education for Red Hook Labs in Brooklyn.