Books on Pictorialism?
I have been trying to read up on Pictorialism lately, and while I have seen several titles about such individual photographers as F. Holland Day and Gertrude Käsebier, the only general works I have been able to find are _Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession_, and a general survey of Pictorialism after 1910. I have seen some Steichen prints from his Pictorialist period in _Steichen's Legacy_. Any suggestions for further reading?
I have already read a couple of general histories of photography (including Beaumont Newhall's), and there wasn't a lot on Pictorialism there.
Thanks, and Happy New Year,
Gertrude Kasebier is one of my favorite photographers. Even though she's very pictorial, her sitters are so modern looking, and really engaged in life. There was a show of her work at the National Gallery in Washington, DC in 1992 or so, and the accompanying book "Gertrude Kasebier: The Photographer and Her Photographs" by Barbara L. Micheals is excellent. Great essays on Kasebier, and contemporaries such as Steiglitz, and Clarence White among others. As far as I can tell, the book is out of print, but you should try Photo-eye.com. They have a lot of out of print titles.
An excellent book I bought a couple of years ago at Barnes and Noble is "Pictorialism into Modernism: The Clarence H. White School of Photograpy", edited by Marianne Fulton with texts by Bonnie Yochelson and Kathleen A. Erwin. It's published by Rizzoli, New York, George Eastman House In Association with the Detroit Institue of Arts.
I've enjoyed reading it a great deal...an antidote to the myopically exclusive assessment of 20th century photography purveyed by Beaumont Newhall et. al. (to whom I'm nonetheless grateful for all they offer.)
The photographs are often revelatory and the text is a compelling account of the 'other' fine art and commercial take on image making that preceded and co-existed with the Steiglitz (though he was an early champion), Weston, Adams approach to modernism. Worth your finding and perusing!
I have "The Dream of Beauty" about Frank Eugene and "A Poetic Vision:The Photographs of Anne Brigman." Both are good reads.
I also acquired an exhibition catalog entitled "Intimations and Imaginings" on George H. Seeley, which was disappointing. That's a shame since Seeley is probably my favorite photographer next to Steichen.
One of these days I'll get around to reading "The Fine Art of Photography" by Paul Anderson and "Landscape and Figure Composition" by Sadakichi Hartmann. The latter has images by Stieglitz, White, Brigman, Kasabier, Steichen, Demachy and Eickmeyer among others. (All contemporaries of Hartmann at the time those two books were written. They are both long OOP and rare.) It appears to be a very good book based on skimming through it.
I also have a book on Demachy which was OK, but I forget the title and don't have it on hand.
Given their reliance on pictorial traditions born in painting, research Victorian and Academie painters and work your way back. Theorists in painting like Poore, Ruskin, Delsarte are good. Skip Tolstoy and probably Goethe and Aristotle.
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Just thought of a couple other books with plenty of nice work. One is "The Art of Pictorial Photography 1890-1925" part of the Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University. Thin on text but a nice catalog of Pictorialist works held by that institution.
The second is a book entitled "Gustave Marissiaux: La possibilitie de l'art". Another very nicely illustrated monograph but unfortunately the text is only in French so I am at a loss to comment on that aspect.
C'est la vie.
I just read the Michaels book on Gertrude Käsebier (found it at the library), and I agree that it is wonderful. Thanks for the suggestion about Photo-eye.com--I've never heard of them. The book would be worth buying for the portrait of "Miss N." (Evelyn Nesbitt) alone. Was there ever a more beautiful portrait?
Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy
Glad you found that book. It's one of my favorites. And no... Miss N is about as perfect a portrait as you'll ever see!!
One of many good sources for used and new books that I use is Bookfinder.com.
Currently they show:
Michaels, Barbara L.
* Gertrude Kasebier: The Photographer and Her Photographs
* Gertrude Käsebier
Innes Homer, William
* A Pictorial Heritage: The Photographs of Gertrude Kasebier
Tucker, Anne, edited and with An Introduction by
* Woman's Eye - Selections From the Work of Gertrude Kasebier, FrancesBenjamin Johnston, Margaret Bourke-White, Dorothea Lange, Berenice Abbott,Barbara Morgan, Diane Arbus, Alisa Wells, Judy Dater, Bea Nettles
Don't overlook the books with all the illustrations from "Camera Notes," and "Camera Works." Personally, I find the "pictorial" stuff nauseating.