Autofocus The Car in Photography

Marta Weiss

A historical tour in more than 100 images of the car as both subject and creative force in photography.

Undeniably one of the most influential innovations of the modern world, the car has changed not only the way we live, but also the way we look at the world around us. From formal, compositional device to highly desirable, photogenic object, the car has a long and enduring appeal in modern and contemporary photography as revealed in this latest addition to the V&A Photography Library.

Autofocus explores the deep cultural significance of the car in the history of photography, playing a role both as subject matter and as a genuine creative vehicle—the means by which photographers have accomplished many of their great works. Showcased is work by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Edward Weston, and Weegee.

This captivating album presents more than 100 photographs, alongside fascinating commentaries and an introduction, that span the early years of the automobile to the present day. For both photography and car-loving audiences, Autofocus illustrates the inexorable rise of the car as a cultural icon.


Marta Weiss


Marta Weiss is Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum. She is an expert on nineteenth-century photography and has published widely on the subject.