John Gutmann: The Photographer at Work by Sally Stein, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
John Gutmann: The Photographer at Work

John Gutmann: The Photographer at Work

by Sally Stein
     
 

John Gutmann (1905–1998) was one of America’s most distinctive photographers. Born in Germany where he trained as an artist and art teacher, he fled the Nazis in 1933 and settled in San Francisco, reinventing himself as a photo-reporter. Gutmann captured images of American culture, celebrating signs of a vibrant democracy, however imperfect. His own

Overview

John Gutmann (1905–1998) was one of America’s most distinctive photographers. Born in Germany where he trained as an artist and art teacher, he fled the Nazis in 1933 and settled in San Francisco, reinventing himself as a photo-reporter. Gutmann captured images of American culture, celebrating signs of a vibrant democracy, however imperfect. His own status as an outsider—a Jew in Germany, a naturalized citizen in the United States—informed his focus on individuals from the Asian-American, African-American, and gay communities, as well as his photography in India, Burma, and China during World War II.

This handsome book acknowledges Gutmann’s place in the history of photography. Drawing on his archive of photographs and papers at the Center for Creative Photography, it presents both unfamiliar works and little-known contexts for his imagery, linking his photography to his passionate interest in painting and filmmaking, his collections of non-Western art and artifacts, and his pedagogy.  In addition to a major essay by Sally Stein, the volume includes an introduction by Douglas R. Nickel, and an overview of the Gutmann archive by Amy Rule.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Although the Depression-era images of Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and other photographers of the Farm Security Administration are perhaps better known, John Gutmann captured many powerful moments in everyday life throughout his career. Drawing on a rich archive of personal papers and photographs at the Center for Creative Photography, Stein (art history & visual studies, Univ. of California, Irvine) has meticulously selected and arranged them in critical and historical context. She contributes a substantive introductory essay that profiles Gutmann, who fled Nazi Germany in 1933, and carefully analyzes his work. Douglas R. Nickel (modern art, Brown Univ.) writes a touching foreword, and Amy Rule (Ctr. for Creative Photography) provides a useful key to the archive. The book's strength is in the collection of 175 photographic plates and the theme of humanity that runs throughout. VERDICT Carefully edited and beautifully printed, this is a fine tribute to the life's work of a great American photographer. It will be deeply appreciated by all serious photographers and readers interested in the history of photography and American social and cultural history.—Raymond Bial, First Light Photography, Urbana, IL

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300123319
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
09/22/2009
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 12.10(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Sally Stein is associate professor in the Department of Art History and Ph.D. Program in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine.

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