As promised, in cooperation with the Nelson-Atkins Museum, TOP is today offering a package of four wonderful older photobooks by eminent curator and author Keith F. Davis for a single low price. Here's the link—to get the sale price exclusive to TOP, enter the code 175212.
For $48 plus shipping, you'll receive four of Keith's books:
Clarence John Laughlin: Visionary Photographer (1990)
Todd Webb: Photographs of New York and Paris 1945–1960 (1986)
George N. Barnard: Photographer of the Sherman Campaign (1990)
The Photographs of Dorothea Lange (1995)
In addition, the first several hundred orders will receive, as a free bonus:
The Passionate Observer: Photographs by Carl Van Vechten (1993)
Three strong wins
All these books enjoyed successful runs in print, and at this point what Keith and the Museum are trying to do is put the remaining books in the hands of people who will enjoy and appreciate them. And TOP gets a few dollars from each sale. So this whole project is a win/win/win for them, me, and you.
Supply: We have fewer books than last time, but still a good supply, so you won't miss out if you can't order immediately. However only the first several hundred orders will receive the fifth title, and there's a caveat regarding hardcover and softcover that I've explained several times and will explain again below.
Shipping: Domestic shipping is $15.95. Overseas shipping is available but expensive at $100. There's no help for this; books are heavy, and four (or five) books are heavier than one. Do note that the cost even with international shipping is still lower than the price the Museum has been selling these books for regularly, and lower than the cover prices of the books when they were new back in the 1990s. (They'd cost more if published now.) So, still not a bad deal.
Packaging: Last time we got some complaints about the packaging (although we had few actual problems), so this time the books will be wrapped in bubble wrap and encased in a stout lidded box for shipping. Big thanks to Brian and the corps of Museum volunteers who will be working hard on the shipping fulfillment!
The books themselves: I'll be posting more about each book in the days/weeks to come. The Barnard is the definitive title on him and a must-have for anyone interested in the Civil War; the Lange is (in my opinion) the best single-volume overview of her career, "the one to have if you have only one"; and my surprise favorite is the Laughlin, which I knew from when it was new but have really only appreciated for the first time since my sample copy arrived here this Spring. He's not a straight photographer, so it's possible his moment is here right now.
Note that Keith Davis is very, very good (gifted, I think, and I'm pretty good at it too) at the basic bedrock task of curation: picking which pictures to show, and in what sequence. There's a "rightness" to these presentations that accentuates the pleasure of looking at these books.
Duration: The sale lasts for one month or while supplies last.
Value and varying interest: My feeling, having seen and happily perused all the books is that this is a nice buy if you're interested in at least two of the titles. And you might find, like I did, that you'll be surprised by one or more of the others, too, and like it more than you thought, so there's that possibility too.
Hardcover/paperback: One book exists only in hardcover, two others (including the bonus book) only in soft, but for two of the books there's a mixed supply of hardcover and softcover copies. We'll fulfill orders with hardcovers until they run out and then start sending softcovers. There's nothing wrong with a paperback book but hardcovers are kinda nice too. The one you really want in hardcover is the Lange, and that's all the Museum has, so that's what you'll get, for sure.
Not a secret: The sale isn't a secret, so feel free to post the link and order code to other photographic communities you frequent.
Here it is again: order at this link and use the code 175212 at checkout.
A lot of people at the Museum have worked hard on this, so big thanks to them! And thanks to all of you who ordered the book from our last cooperative book sale, too. The success of that sale inspired this one.
(Thanks most of all to Keith, who, although a down-to-earth sort of guy, is firmly ensconced in the pantheon of the medium's greatest curators.)
[UPDATE 3:37 p.m. Thursday: 241 sets sold so far, and 325 is the cutoff for the free fifth book.]
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:
Massoud biniaz: "Hi Mike, How do you know if you're going to receive the bonus book?"
Mike replies: You'll only know when your box comes.
The reason it's provided for free is so they wouldn't have to work out a mechanism to track it. If they were set up to tell you in advance whether you were going to get it it, they'd also be set up to charge extra for it.
rick barry: "All these books for $63.95 to my doorstep. Yippee! Can't wait. Thanks Mike and TOP. Mine are ordered."
Mike replies: I can't take much credit. Thank Keith... :-)
Lenya: "Mike, why don't you revive the Photography book of the month club, so that members get a photography book chosen by you and a publisher at a discounted price every month or every two months? That would open some of our horizons, without breaking the bank. The Weston volume, and other books you had on sale may have built just enough trust in the TOP editor's taste to make this endeavor possible."
Mike replies: Hmmm....[seldom used neurons begin firing, rusty cogs begin turning....]