As a matched pair, the very best history of American photography
Here we go! Last February we hosted a very large book sale—of a very large book—for Keith F. Davis, the noted author, photo historian, and Senior Curator of Photography at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. The book was the magnificent An American Century of Photography: from Dry-Plate to Digital, a literally weighty tome which covers American photography from 1885 to the recent turn of the millennium.
On offer now is the companion volume to that book, Origins of American Photography: from Daguerreotype to Dry-Plate, covering its subject from the pioneering generation up to 1885, the point at which the second book begins.
Although it is a companion book, completing the other, it's perfectly enjoyable as a stand-alone single title about the rich and riotous early days of photography in North America.
The book was originally published at $65, and was a fine bargain at that price. For a limited time, thanks to Keith and his associates at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, we are offering it here on TOP, exclusively, for 50% off—only $32.50. Note that these are all brand new books, not seconds, not used, and not shopworn.
How to Buy
To purchase yours, please go to this link and then enter the code "12555" at checkout to get our discount. Note that you can also get the same discount in person at the Museum as long as you know the code.
We're not "protecting" this information, so you're welcome to share it. However, there are fewer books available this time than last, so you might be well advised to order your copy before posting the link to big photo sites!
Domestic shipping is only $12.95. Unavoidably, international shipping is $100, same as last time*.
The sale will continue for 30 days or until the supply of books runs out, whichever comes first.
As I mentioned last time, although the text is uncommonly readable and engaging, the book is worth its price just as a picture book. It's loaded with illustrations, many of them unusual, and the reproduction quality is very high for this type of book. Just paging through it and enjoying the pictures is rewarding.
Hope you like! I just love Keith's books and have gotten a great deal of enjoyment from these, although (fortunately!) I'm nowhere near finished reading both of them. More pleasure awaits.
(Thanks to Keith Davis and the Nelson-Atkins Museum, and
Brian Day and his staff and helpers at the Museum Store)
*This will be disappointing to some readers so it bears a little explanation...the books are big and heavy, and the Museum Store is largely responsible for sales within the Museum itself...they normally do very little mail order and almost none to other countries. Groups of volunteers assist with packaging and mailing to the U.S., but shipments to other countries unfortunately require a lot of time and attention from staffers. Hence the high price.
If the Book Depository ships to your country, the overall price will be less for you if you order it there. I'm not sure how many books they have, however.
Original contents copyright 2016 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Thomas J. Burleson: "Another winner, Mike; thanks for arranging it. All the previous books have been exceptionally useful in helping an assortment of aspiring young photographers of my acquaintance understand why cellphone cameras and Instagram are only a place to start. This book should help them understand how we got to this point."
John Camp: "Is the first book, An American Century of Photography: Dry Plate to Digital, still available?"
Mike replies: It was when you asked this question, but now it looks like it is not. At least from the Museum. You might still try the usual suspects, Amazon and the Book Depository. Or, if you can settle for a used copy, Abebooks.com or eBay > Books.
Peter Williams: "I know you live in the USA, but these books sales are pretty off-putting for your international readers."
Mike replies: We're a bit between a rock and a hard place. As I explained, that's just what it costs; the Museum doesn't want to lose money, which is reasonable. If they were set up for international shipping on a regular basis, I'm sure they could get the cost down drastically, but, as I've explained, they're not, because they don't ordinarily do any international shipping. On the other hand, if we refuse to sell to international readers altogether, it creates alienation—we've done that a few times in the past and the complaints can be bitter.
As antidote, consider that in numerous print sales, American readers have paid a little more in shipping than the actual cost so that international buyers can pay a little less than their actual cost (whenever you see the same shipping cost for U.S. and overseas, that probably pertains), meaning that American buyers have subsidized international shipping somewhat in those cases.
I've given the best alternative I know of in the footnote above, and I apologize again that we can't level this particular playing field. But we can't.