African Photographer J. A. Green

African Photographer J. A. Green : Reimagining the Indigenous and the Colonial

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J. A. Green (1873-1905) was one of the most prolific and accomplished indigenous photographers to be active in West Africa. This beautiful book celebrates Green's photographs and opens a new chapter in the early photographic history of Africa. Soon after photography reached the west coast of Africa in the 1840s, the technology and the resultant images were disseminated widely, appealing to African elites, European residents, and travelers to the region. Responding to the need for more photographs, expatriate and indigenous photographers began working along the coasts, particularly in major harbor towns. Green, whose identity remained hidden behind his English surname, maintained a photography business in Bonny along the Niger Delta. His work covered a wide range of themes including portraiture, scenes of daily and ritual life, commerce, and building. Martha G. Anderson, Lisa Aronson, and the contributors have uncovered 350 of Green's images in archives, publications, and even albums that celebrated colonial achievements. This landmark book unifies these dispersed images and presents a history of the photographer and the area in which he more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 216 x 254mm
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 186 color illus., 2 maps
  • 0253028957
  • 9780253028952
  • 1,198,966

About Martha G. Anderson

Martha G. Anderson is Professor Emerita of the School of Art and Design at New York State College of Ceramics, Alfred University. Lisa Aronson is Emeritus Professor of the Department of Art History at Skidmore more

Review quote

"Little is known about J. A. Green and much of his corpus of photographs and the priceless documentation Green kept on each photograph were lost when a family member tragically tossed it all in the trash. Martha G. Anderson and Lisa Aronson have... uncover[ed] not just the story of J. A. Green but, perhaps more importantly, an examination of the intersection of photography and the indigenous and colonial life in Nigeria at the turn of the twentieth century." -Elisabeth L. Cameron, editor of Portraiture and Photography in Africa "In the past fifteen or so years, African photography has taken shape as a subject of great interest to art historians of Africa and modern/contemporary art.... This book will enhance our understanding of photography in Africa and especially the earliest years of photographic practices on the continent." -Joanna Grabski, author of Art World Cityshow more

Table of contents

AcknowledgementsA Note Regarding Captions IntroductionPart One: Green in Context 1. Picture of the Niger Delta / Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa2. Early Photographers in Coastal Nigeria and the Afterlife of Their Images, 1860-1930 / Christraud M. GearyPart Two: Green and His Oeuvre 3. Image Maker Jonathan Adagogo Green and his Practice / Lisa Aronson4. J. A. Green's Portraits: Picturing People in the Niger Delta / Lisa AronsonPart Three: Viewing Green through Expatriate Eyes5. Differing Views: Imperial Agendas and Personal Histories / Martha G. Anderson6. Envisioning Africa: From Ethnographic Types to Picturesque Views / Martha G. AndersonPart Four: The "Performative" Aspects of Green's Photographs7. Telling Histories: J. A. Green's Photographs in Colonial Albums and Western Publications / Martha G. Anderson8. Green's Photos and the Visualizing and Reinventing of Ijo Histories / Lisa Aronson9. J. A. Green: Pioneer and Legend / Tam FioforiAppendix: TimelineContributorsSelected BibliographyIndexshow more