...About the footer link in the Curtis post (I'll put it in the footer link of this post too): it's one of my "touchstone" books for reproduction quality, easily the best of any of the (very) many Curtis volumes I've seen.
The very hardworking Edward Sheriff Curtis, c. 1899.
He lived until 1952.
You might remember our "Book of the Year" a couple of years ago was The Printed Picture by Richard Benson. Richard is an intensely interesting fellow, a polymath of photo printing and reproduction who held some high position or other at Yale for a while, and even won one of those MacArthur "genius grants" we were talking about the other day. I don't know him, and I know precious little about him, really (rumor has it there was a New Yorker profile of him once—I really should go look that up), but I keep catching wind of various of his many accomplishments. Native Nations was a book that he masterminded the reproduction for, and it is a beautiful book—I've been enamored of it since first acquaintance. It's the only monograph representation of Curtis in my library, and the only one I want. Worth going considerably out of your way to find.
Since I know someone will ask, this and this are also among those "touchstones"...and this (the original 1962 hardcover version only! Although the upcoming reprint is going to be very interesting to check out) and this....
Damn, and now I've gotten started, and my brain will be thinking of others for the next seven hours.... :-)
By the way, I'd personally rather have Native Nations than the $1.8m set that sold at Swann yesterday. Owning the latter would be too much responsibility for me!
P.S. I'm scheduled to have lunch today with a TOP reader who's passing through town, and TOP World Headquarters is afflicted by an ordinary but annoying plumbing malady that is doubtless going to be sucking down my time in great gulps. The anticipated arrival of the plumber is the great hoped-for event of the day, even the week. (We're keeping our fingers crossed.) It could be a little quiet around the website today. Sorry about that.
P.P.S. I'm beginning to think these book links in the footers aren't going to work after all...I'll probably end up wanting to explain half of them.... :-\
UPDATE: I was wrong in my expectations...as things turned out this could not have been a more lovely day. To begin with, my son was accepted today to the college he wants to go to! He'd managed the application process all on his own. I'm sure many parents reading this know just how I feel.
Then I enjoyed a long lunch with a very nice couple from
Virginia, Dennis Mook and his wife Kathy (I hope I guessed the spelling right). Dennis, who has been reading my
blatherings since at least the '90s, captained not one but two police
departments during his career in law enforcement. Along the way he did a lot of forensic photography—murder scenes,
autopsies—and closed out his career with NCIS*. When I mentioned
Milwaukee's Chief of Police, he said "I know Ed!" and told me all about
him. Dennis has been a devoted photo enthusiast all his life, and now in
semi-retirement has built a good relationship with a stock house; he
and his wife were driving back from the West, where he'd been collecting
more material with his new D800E. He's a high-energy guy and we swapped stories at quite a clip. One could not ask for more agreeable
lunch companions than the Mooks.
And then, I returned home to find all the plumbing work done, to my surprise.
I'll go to bed happy tonight. And no, not just about the plumbing.
Dennis Mook replies: "Mike, it was entirely Kathy's (she is happy you spelled her name correctly) and my pleasure to have spent a wonderful hour and a half together. You exceeded my expectations of being friendly, gracious and conversive. I now admire you and your work even more. I hope we can get together again sometime in the future as I really enjoyed our conversations. If I ever can be of assistance to you, please don't hesitate to contact me.
"On a related topic, two hours of 4-lane, stop-and-go traffic around Chicago, heavy traffic all the way into Michigan and then strong winds, fog and heavy rain the last 50 miles of our 350 mile drive was more than I bargained for. But, then again, I would do the day the same way again.
"Thanks for your company."
*Most Americans know the term because there's a popular TV drama by that title (which Dennis says he doesn't watch). For those of you outside the broadcast area, the acronym stands for Naval Crime Investigative Services.
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A book of interest today:
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Ken Tanaka: "Bensen's The Printed Picture is among my most treasured reference books. Anyone who really enjoys looking at printed images should have this book on his/her shelf, even if they do not create or print images themselves. The DeCarava retrospective book has been my treasured catch of the summer. I've really become a great admirer of Roy DeCarava's work. My wife gave me a wonderful copy of The Sound I Saw for my birthday. But I really still wanted that 1996 retrospective. They aren't hard to find, per se, but in fine or better condition they're a bit rich$. But I finally scored one from a public library sale this summer. Yes, there's a library stamp inside the front board but the book and its jacket are in like-new condition! For $25."
Mike replies: About that Roy DeCarava retrospective...well, let me put it this way: if I got incarcerated and was allowed to take one photographic monograph to my prison cell with me, that would probably be the one. I probably look through it at length once a year, and I actually look forward to the occasion.
Mark Steigelman: "Thanks for reminding me about that book [Roy DeCarava: A Retrospective]. I looked at it today for the first time since I brought it home. I designed that exhibition and I was given that book which DeCarava and Galassi both signed. Of all the photographers I met while working on exhibitions, DeCarava was definately the nicest and most humble."