Jerry Spagnoli, Mark Osterman, and the Rebirth of Photographic Theory

Master's Thesis


For the latter part of the 20th century, photographic practice has generally been discussed within a framework of modernist or postmodernist theories. Modernist photographic theory holds the art object dear, while postmodernist approaches believe the photograph to be a vehicle for the transference of power between larger cultural institutions. Such ideas have become stale in the wake of the 21st century, and a new photographic theory must be established to take into account the various media and processes currently available to photographers. The post-historical photographic movement, a loosely affiliated group of photographers who use historical photographic processes to explore contemporary themes, have sparked this need for a new approach to photographic discourse. By exploring the work of two photographers working within this movement — Jerry Spagnoli and Mark Osterman — we may come to a better understanding of where photographic practice is headed and what it means for our understanding of the medium. The modernist object and postmodernist message are not mutually exclusive, but exist in a symbiotic relationship that may be christened “interdependent photographic theory.”


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-04192012-215430

Author David AJ Trujillo
Advisor Gabrielle Gopinath
Contributor Richard Gray, Committee Member
Contributor Gabrielle Gopinath, Committee Chair
Contributor Kathleen Pyne, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Art, Art History, and Design
Degree Name Master of Arts
Defense Date
  • 2012-04-20

Submission Date 2012-04-19
  • United States of America

  • Mark Osterman

  • modernism

  • interdependent theory

  • alternative processes

  • photography

  • postmodernism

  • ambrotype

  • historical processes

  • Jerry Spagnoli

  • daguerreotype

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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