Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art

Overview

Originally published in 1973, this marvelous collection of photographs with accompanying texts by the revered late Museum of Modern Art photography curator John Szarkowski has long been recognized as a classic. Reissued in 1999-with new digital duotones-this volume is now available to a new generation of readers.
"This is a picture book, and its first purpose is to provide the material for simple delectation," says Szarkowski in his introduction to this first survey of The ...
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Overview

Originally published in 1973, this marvelous collection of photographs with accompanying texts by the revered late Museum of Modern Art photography curator John Szarkowski has long been recognized as a classic. Reissued in 1999-with new digital duotones-this volume is now available to a new generation of readers.
"This is a picture book, and its first purpose is to provide the material for simple delectation," says Szarkowski in his introduction to this first survey of The Museum of Modern Art's photography collection. A visually splendid album, the book is both a treasury of remarkable photographs and a lively introduction to the aesthetics and the historical development of photography.
Since 1930, when the Museum accessioned its first photograph, it has assembled an extraordinary and wide-ranging collection of pictures for preservation, study and exhibition. Among the outstanding figures represented here are Hill and Adamson, Cameron, O'Sullivan, Atget, Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand, Weston, Kertesz, Evans, Cartier-Bresson, Lange, Brassai, Ansel Adams, Shomei Tomatsu, Frank, Arbus and Friedlander.
Some of these photographs are classics, familiar and well-loved favorites, many are surprising, little-known works by the masters of the art.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870705151
  • Publisher: The Museum of Modern Art
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 348,843
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

John Szarkowski is director emeritus of the Department of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. As director of the department from 1962 through 1991, he oversaw the presentation of more than 100 exhibitions. He also oversaw the publication of more than 30 books and catalogues, the inauguration of the Museum's first photography collection galleries in 1964 and their expansion in 1984 and the establishment of endowments to support the department's programs. Throughout his tenure, he supervised the development of the collection, which now includes more than 25,000 works spanning the history of photography. Szarkowski was born in Ashland, Wisconsin in 1925.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2001

    See More . . . Through Photographs

    Although this book has much less female nudity than many photographic books, there are two such pages in the book. If this type of representation is offensive to you, either skip this book or avoid those pages. This book has modest purposes. 'This is a picture book, and its first purpose is to provide the material for simple delectation.' Beyond that, it is 'a visual interim report [as of 1973] on the results of collecting photographs at The Museum of Modern Art.' These purposes are magnificently fulfilled, and your eyes and mind will be filled with many useful new perspectives and thoughts as a result of your delectations here. Your life will be expanded by seeing much more, both in photographs and in life, as a result. Mr. Szarkowski, head of the photography collection at MOMA, points at that photography 'has received little serious study.' As a result, a language and analytical framework for considering photography are not yet developed. To overcome that limitation. Mr. Szarkowski has provided a number of perspectives in the one-page essays that accompany each page of photography. These perspectives include the utilitarian purpose of the image, the style of the photographer, the technology of the methods used, and the significance of the subjects or subject. He also draws your attention to detail or information that expand your knowledge. It is like having the best docent's photography tour of your life, as you go through the images. These essays are modestly described as simply 'an attempt to describe photography from a somewhat more liberal and exploratory perspective.' Well, they are much more than that. They are like turning the light on to see the photographs for the first time, unless you are a talented photographer already. In creating this book, a great decision was made to limit each photographer to one page of work. In this way, you get to see more types of images and styles. I think this added greatly to the knowledge and enjoyment that can be gained from this wonderful book. A great benefit of this approach was to allow selecting photographs that would reproduce well in this page size format. I heartily approve of that approach! In the book you will find portraits, sketches for painters, ways of recording far away places, Civil War reporting, aerial reconnaisance, methods of encouraging connections, insights into the physics of life, and efforts to be a successor to painting. As the author says, 'Photography has remained . . . radical, instructive, disruptive, influential, problematic, and [an] astonishing phenomenon of the modern epoch.' Here are my favorite images: D.O. Hill and W.B. Johnston, David Octavius Hill, Celotype, c. 1845; Baron Isadore Taylor, Nadar, Woodbury type, 1872; Madonna with Children, Julia Margaret Cameron, Albumen print, c. 1866; Sugar Bowl with Rowboat, Wisconsin Dells, Henry Hamilton Bennett, 1911; Avenue du Bois de Boulogne, Paris, Jacques Henri Lartigue; Georgia Engelhard, Alfred Stieglitz, 1921; Torso of Neil, Edward Weston, 1925; Babe Ruth, Nikolas Muray, c. 1927;

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