Friends, the new edition of Gypsies from Aperture is a flat-out masterpiece of photography and bookmaking. I received mine yesterday and it is even better than I'd hoped. With the picture selection restored to the original intentions of the photographer and the original book designer, Milan Kopriva, and the reproduction quality raised to the best of modern standards by Gerhard Steidl, the work is made new.
Considered one of the photobook high points of the 20th century, the Robert Delpire edit still has its charms. But far from diluting the impact of the pictures in the older book, the opposite happens: if some of the older pictures are too well known, like great music that's been heard too many times, the new pictures add richness and context and both enliven and renew the better-known ones.
Many of the horizontals are two-page spreads, but few seem diminished by it in this case. And a number of horizontals are fold-outs, making the interruption a crease rather than a gather. The reproductions are large despite the modest size of the book. The paper is matt and the repro resembles photogravure in style and feel—quite different from the earlier book, yet even more appealing in my opinion.
For anyone interested in social documentary, an absolute must-have, and I can't see how any photographic library wouldn't be enriched by this. This edition will surely remain prized both by the market and by lovers of photography long after the new copies are gone. A superlative presentation of important work and a magnificent and wonderful achievement by all concerned. Very highly recommended.
P.S. Just as a point of interest, the repro prints for the book were made by our friend Voja Mitrovic.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.