The democratisation of photography and the promotion of tourism: the Polytechnic Touring Association (1888-1939)

Dominici, S. 2014. The democratisation of photography and the promotion of tourism: the Polytechnic Touring Association (1888-1939). PhD thesis University of Westminster Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

TitleThe democratisation of photography and the promotion of tourism: the Polytechnic Touring Association (1888-1939)
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsDominici, S.
Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to explore a specifi c aspect of the relationship between photography and tourism, that is, how the democratisation of photography infl uenced the marketing of tourism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It focuses on the fi rst fi fty years of activity of the Polytechnic Touring Association (PTA), an initially philanthropic turned commercial travel fi rm, whose historical origins coincided with the Kodak-led emergence of popular photography in 1888. During this period, the travel fi rm moved from using photography-based images to rely increasingly on mixed media, including drawings and graphic design. This use of new representational media was certainly a response to new market demands; if and how a new approach to photography also infl uenced it, however, is still an unexplored question. By taking as its principal primary source the PTA archive, this research thus seeks to establish the extent to which such a shift can also be explained by accounting for the transformed perception engendered by new photographic practices. The thesis begins with an examination of how practices of photographic production and consumption might relate to changing understandings of photography and travel, and their consequent infl uence on the demand for and representation of tourism. It then moves on to consider this relationship between tourism and tourist practices in the context of the social and cultural changes that saw the emergence and development of mass photography, tourism, and tourism marketing from the late nineteenth century. The specifi c representational choices made by the PTA to promote its tours are then investigated against this historical background. Specifi cally, these are explored in relation to the changing function of the tours, and, in a related way, to the perception of tourists as evidenced by their practices, in particular photographic ones.

Overall, this investigation argues that the multiplicity of photographic perspectives engendered by the democratisation of photography, and a related transformation of the value attached to the photograph, resulted in an organisation such as the PTA reconsidering how best to represent itself in light of a shift from broadly educational concerns to emergent commercial imperatives.

Year2014
FileSara_DOMINICI_2014.pdf
Publication dates
Completed2014

Related outputs

New mobile experiences of vision and modern subjectivities in Late Victorian Britain
Dominici, S. 2019. New mobile experiences of vision and modern subjectivities in Late Victorian Britain . Science Museum Group Journal. (12).

How to go from A to B
Dominici, S. 2019. How to go from A to B. Source Magazine. (97), pp. 22-25.

‘Cyclo-Photographers’, Visual Modernity, and the Development of Camera Technologies, 1880s–1890s
Dominici, S. 2018. ‘Cyclo-Photographers’, Visual Modernity, and the Development of Camera Technologies, 1880s–1890s. History of Photography. 42 (1), pp. 46-60. doi:10.1080/03087298.2018.1423739

Travel Marketing and Popular Photography in Britain, 1888–1939: Reading the Travel Image
Dominici, S. 2018. Travel Marketing and Popular Photography in Britain, 1888–1939: Reading the Travel Image. New York and Abingdon, Oxon Routledge.

The PTA: Promoting Swiss Tours, 1888-1939
Dominici, S. and Maitland, R. 2016. The PTA: Promoting Swiss Tours, 1888-1939. Annals of Tourism Research. 60, pp. 31-47. doi:10.1016/j.annals.2016.05.010

Tourist photographers and the promotion of travel: the Polytechnic Touring Association, 1888–1939
Dominici, S. 2015. Tourist photographers and the promotion of travel: the Polytechnic Touring Association, 1888–1939. Photography and Culture. 8 (3), pp. 297-323. doi:10.1080/17514517.2015.1091178

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/8yq7q/the-democratisation-of-photography-and-the-promotion-of-tourism-the-polytechnic-touring-association-1888-1939


Share this
Tweet
Email