Prison in Bukhara, 1907, Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky"...in the 1970s, at a time when William Eggleston and other artists were pioneering the use of color photography." - PDN
Please don"t misunderstand statements like this. William Eggleston didn't pioneer color photography. By the 1970's color photography dominated the worlds of fashion, travel, industrial, medical and sports photography, to name a few. Color photography was pioneered in the late 19th century. Kodak was producing Kodachrome as early as the 1920's. The Office of War Information and the FSA documented much of America's struggle through the depression and the war effort on color film beginning the early 1940s.
1940, Russell Lee for the FSAWhen people mention William Eggleston as a pioneer of color photography they are referring to the fact that Eggleston was one of the first photographers using color film to be recognized by collectors of fine art photography. Collectors of art must be marketed to, as very few of them have a true and deep understanding of art, creative vision, process, craft and what it means to live the creative life of an artist.
William Eggleston, untitled, ca. 1960
Eggleston's color photography is accessible. Despite whatever complexities may be behind his calculated imagery, his work is marketable. Eggleston's photography helped galleries and dealers move collectors toward the idea that color photography was worthy of the label "fine art photography." Indeed a pioneering move in the industry, but no real significant contribution to advancement of the medium.