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Photography can be considered art or documentation (or both!). Search various databases for texts on photographs and images
Best single index - just 19th-21st-century art (which is all of photography!)
Art & Architecture Source
General-art index of art articles in art journals, including photography.
Use Jstor for IMAGES!
1. limit your journal subjects to your topic (e.g., "Health" "Medical Studies")
2. in the field searches, pull down the limiter to CAPTION (this finds all those words in the caption under the photo)
Frequently historic newspaper accounts can be primary sources for exhibitions and other reception documentation. Also good for patronage verification and biographical/obituary accounts. Both pdf scans of the actual column.
Times Digital Archive - the Times (London), 1785-1985
New York Times Digital Index - 1851 until three years ago.