Reviews - What do customers think about 20th Century Photography?
Wonderful overview of 20th Century photography & well-priced Nov 24, 2001
The printing is excellent. The photographs are inspiring and the descriptions of the photographers are short and to the point. The photographers are a diverse lot -- from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Helmut Newton. For ten bucks you can't go wrong.
A Wonderful Collection Sep 25, 2001
This is a wonderful collection of photographs. I was a little disappointed as a number of non-continental photographers, obviously not part of the collecion in Cologne, could not be included in this volume. I was also disappointed in the biographical sketches as they were sparse and filled with antiseptic information, but this was due more to a space restriction than conscience oversight.
All in all an excellent volume.
Great Introduction to Modern Photography and This Collection Nov 19, 2000
Before discussing the book, let me mention that like many photography books this one contains nude images. Most of these are done tastefully and are of women. If such images offend you, either skip those pages or avoid the book.
This book was a very nice surprise for me. I had just finished reading MOMA's book on its photographic collection, "Looking at Photographs," and was wondering how else a collection might have been portrayed. Then, I found this book that takes a different approach. You will probably want to consider both of them, as well.
The second reason this was a nice surprise is that I have not been in Cologne in 28 years and did not realize that the city now had such an impressive photography collection. As a result, Cologne is now on my list for my next trip to Germany.
The museum has 9300 photographs, which is almost as many as MOMA does. That is remarkable because MOMA was the first art museum to have a photography department and collection while this museum was not founded until 1976.
The Museum Ludwig Cologne has done so well because of a series of gifts from the L. Fritz Gruber collection, beginning in 1977 (when the MOMA book was first released). The images in this book are heavily drawn from that fine collection.
What this book provides is a soupcon of 278 reasonably well-known photographers. I was pleased to see that women photographers were well represented (unlike many photographic collections). Each photographer gets a least a page. That page or more will include one or more images, and at least a half page of background on the photographer.
In the sketch of the photographer will be included a brief biography, perspectives on the person's career, quotes from the photographer, style, techniques used, artistic associations, and key career events. These sketches were quite well done for such a limited amount of space.
The photographs were chosen to give a taste of the person's style which could then be discussed in the sketch. The images selected tend to favor the photographer's most highly regarded works.
For those who are new to learning about great photographers, this is one of the best introductions I have seen. The main drawback from this perspective is that the images are very tiny to reflect both the small page size and putting many images on one small page. But the paper quality is outstanding and the reproduction quality is superb for such small images. They will give you an accurate taste of the actual photograph, but certainly do not substitute for seeing the real thing in the correct size. I graded the book down one star because the small size of the images makes most of them unrepresentative of the actual work.
For those who know photography well, this is simply a good way to take an advance look at the museum's collection to see if it is worth a trip. Having seen what is in the collection, you can then correspond with the museum to determine what will be available when so that your interests can be best satisfied during your visit.
With so many 20th century masterpieces represented, it would be pointless to single out a few of the 860 images as my favorites, especially since they are so small.
It may help you to know who some of the 278 photographers are. Here is a partial listing: Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lucien Clergue, Harold Edgerton, Alfred Eisenstadt, Peter H. Furst, Phillippe Halsman, Heinz Held, Fritz Henle, David Octavius Hill, Horst P. Horst, Walde Huth, Alfred Cheney Johnston, Yousuf Karsh, Dorothea Lange, Angus McBean, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Man Ray, Bettina Rheims, August Sander, Karl Hugo Schmolz, Edward Streichen, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston.
After you examine this outstanding collection in its bite-sized pieces, I suggest that you also think about where else there are great photographic collections that you would enjoy. Then arrange to read about them, and plan your next trip!
Keep your eyes open for opportunity!
Full of History and Wonderful Images Jun 17, 2000
This was the first book of photography I ever bought. It gives a great overview for the genre and contains hundreds of fantastic images. I especially enjoy the fact that the book gives a brief history on all the featured artists. I highly recomend this book as a starting point to the wonderful and artistic world of photography!
Great book, too small. I'm looking for a full size edition!! Dec 24, 1998
I noticed the book several years ago in a clothing store, the GAP , I believe. The edition I saw was a full size, coffee table format. Now that I can afford to purchase one for myself, I cannot find the full sized edition. The material of the book is first rate. The new format, however, does not allow for a relaxed read - one has to almost crack the binding to open the book sufficiently to read it. The information and photography in this book deserve a larger and more accessible format.