Photography has no formalized hierarchy of accomplishment, no minor league, no corporate ladder. Photographers often work as visual free agents, selling their images or their services to clients as varied as newlyweds and newspapers. Stranded in the flux of ideas, images, and commerce; photographers have often sought each other’s company, solace and advice. They have fraternized over new technologies, congregated to discuss new methodologies, studied together at certain universities, and exhibited their work at many of the same galleries.
The modern term for such activity is “networking.” For artists who are prone or susceptible to new sources of inspiration, networking can create meaningful repercussions to the content or character of their own work. What would have happened to Brassai if his friend André Kertész had not convinced him to try his hand at photography? What if Berenice Abbott had not crossed paths with Eugène Atget and his photographs of Paris? Would she ever have produced her monumental series, Changing New York?
Cameraderie illustrates a chronology of acquaintances and affiliations which occurred throughout the history of photography. These relationships are revealed as the rudimentary infrastructure upon which more extended patterns of photographic activity developed. Beginning and ending with a William F.H. Talbot photograph from 1843, Cameraderie presents a circuit of images to demonstrate the connections between photographers from different countries and eras, as well as the continuity and diversity of the Boca Raton Museum’s comprehensive collection.