“Photography, and our understanding of it, has spread from a centre. Its movement has not been linear and consecutive but centrifugal.” John Szarkowski

In his still-challenging book, The Photographer’s Eye (1964), Szarkowski included snapshots alongside images by great photographers, and argued – brilliantly – that photography differed from any other art form because its history had been “less a journey than a growth”. “Its movement has not been linear and consecutive but centrifugal,” he suggested. “Photography, and our understanding of it, has spread from a centre; it has, by infusion, penetrated our consciousness. Like an organism, photography was born whole. It is in our progressive discovery of it that its history lies.”

Sean O’Hagan. Was John Szarkowski the most influential person in 20th-century photography? Tuesday 20 July 2010 guardian.co.uk,

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