Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chapter 3 - Photobook Collecting

There are several great reference books that can be used as a guide if you are interested in collecting seminal photography books. Each of these reference books provides great context for each of the books represented.

One the best books recently published
into one volume for the collector, is Andrew Roth's "The Book of 101 Books" (2001, Distributed Art Publishers).

"The history of the photographic book goes back well more than a century; the medium of photography and the book format were understood very early on to relate to each other on both technical and aesth
etic levels. The examples of truly great combinations of photographic image and text, great design and typography bound together as books are numerous and make up an impressive artistic, social and documentary statement of the 20th century. Writer and rare book expert Andrew Roth has selected for this volume a group of 101 of the best photography books ever published."- the publisher.

More recent reference book on the art of the photographic book is a two volume set from Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History Vol 1 & II (2004 and 2006, Phaidon Press).

"The book is divided into a series of thematic and broadly chronological chapters, each featuring a general introductory text providing background information and highlighting the dominant political and artistic influences on the photobook in the period, followed by more detailed discussion of the individual photobooks. The chapter texts are followed by spreads and images from over 200 books, which provide the central means of telling the history of the photobook. Chosen by Parr and Badger, these illustrations show around 200 of the most artistically and culturally important photobooks in three dimensions, with the cover or jacket and a selection of spreads from the book shown. Volume One also features an illuminating and provocative introduction, ‘The Photobook: Between the Film and the Novel’ by Badger, which is accompanied by a preface written by Parr." - the publisher

Then there is just the basic approach and most likely the best. Buy books that you like and that you feel will add to your deep understanding and appreciation of the aesthetics of the photobook. For those that are serious about creating photobooks, there many online services that are enablers for the self publishing approach.

To be continued...

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