maandag 24 december 2007

Collecting Photography & Photobooks

Gerry Badger Collecting Photography

People have been collecting photographs since the first shots were taken, but its growth in the last decade has been phenomenal. Yet photographs are complex objects involving a minefield of specialist and technical issues. Collecting Photography assembles all the knowledge and information the first-timer needs. It analyzes every aspect of the art, shows how to build a collection, discusses the photographic print, and offers advice on displaying and caring for the images. Written by photography historian and collector Gerry Badger, this highly readable guide is supplemented with advice from some of the world’s leading collectors, curators, and dealers.

About the AuthorCurator, critic, and collector Gerry Badger has written extensively for photography publications. The author of several photography monographs, he lives in London and teaches history of photography at Brighton University.

Content wise, the book is broken roughly into two halves. The first half of the book is a discussion on collecting photographs, how to build a collection, thoughts on value of photographs and a discussion of collecting trends and strategies. The discussion is pragmatic and the author shares good insights to anyone looking to become a collector no-matter what their budget. The reader will come away well informed about what photography collection is all about and what to look for in selecting a photograph. This section is illustrated throughout with numerous examples of collected photographs, most of which are from the 20th century. These cover many different genres with some of them being famous whilst others are more obscure. You can spend a long time just browsing at these photos and getting inspiration from them.

The second half of the book is text only and it contains a series of appendices including: a chronology of photographic history, a glossary of photographic terms and techniques (detailing the many numerous chemical processes that have been used in photographic history), a list of famous photographers and a list of places to buy photos internationally. All these act as valuable references.

This book would be appreciated by anyone who has an interest in photography as an art, a collectable, or just something beautiful to look at. Overall, I found this really enjoyable to read as well as educational and it has inspired me to buy the odd photograph on-line.

See for Martin Parr's and Gerry Badger's Five Favorite Photobooks ...

Collecting Photography Books by Mike Johnston

The "golden age of book collecting" took place over a period of several decades roughly a century ago. In those days, even the greatest books from the history of moveable type were still available to private buyers; book collecting was a fashionable and high-status activity, and vying for rare treasures was an accepted sport of the ultra-rich — and sometimes a downright obsession. It was in those days that famous multi-millionaires such as J. P. Morgan, Henry Huntington, and Henry Clay Folger put together the exquisite libraries that bear their names. In certain cases, even book dealers became famous celebrities. In the 1920s, when a Shakespeare first folio sold for a record $50,000, it was front-page news in The New York Times. The burgeoning collection of one gung-ho young blueblood book collector, Harry Widener, became the core of Harvard's Widener Library (one of the five or six greatest libraries in the world today) after the eponymous Harry perished aboard the Titanic.
Those days are gone now. Most of the great treasures (and many lesser ones) are locked away in museum collections. There are only two Gutenberg Bibles still in private hands, for instance, and neither may ever again come up for public sale; the Folger Library in Washington, D.C. alone hoards no fewer than eighty Shakespeare first folios, forever denying many private collectors the opportunity of ever owning one. So the super-rich have moved on to other forms of self-glorifying conspicuous consumption. With the greatest books grown so scarce, it's no longer possible to build a first-rate private library with anything less than a Gates-caliber fortune.
Moreover, book collecting has fallen out of fashion. The main reason is that there's just not all that much out there left to collect. Fortunately, however, there are just a couple of exceptions to this general rule. And one major exception, believe it or not, is photography books.

Six Things You Should Know About The Photo Market
Ours is a generation that has grown up experiencing world events, and personal histories, through photographs--which may explain why photography has been one of the most potent sectors of the art market for the past 25 years. Read more ...

Seven Tips for Beginning Collectors by Caroline Kinneberg

Starting an art collection can be intimidating for a number of reasons: financial constraints, lack of a formal art background, or the attitude beginning collectors can be greeted with at certain galleries, a standard of customer service W.M. Hunt of the (friendly) Hasted Hunt Gallery describes as: “You could be set on fire and no one would give you a glass of water.” Last week, Hunt moderated a panel at Aperture Foundation’s gallery about the first steps to creating a photography collection. In principle, the advice applies to other sorts of art as well, though Hunt told ARTINFO, "Photography seems like a smaller field of dealers and auction houses. As overwhelming as it is, it's easier to negotiate and, at least in the past, the financial consequences weren't so huge." At the panel, Hunt talked to beginning collector Gael Zafrany, who works at Charles Schwartz Ltd., preserving and creating museum and personal collections; longtime collector David Kronn; Modern Art Obsession blogger Michael Hoeh; and designer Todd Oldham about their experiences as fledgling collectors. ARTINFO gleaned the following pieces of advice on amassing pieces of art: Read more ...

See for 100 Important 20th-Century Photobooks ...

The academic study of the history of the photographic book makes for great photobooks as can be seen by The Book of 101 books, Fotografia Publica, From Fair to Fine, and Photobook: A History, volume I and volume II. Alessandro Bertolotti's collection of photography books, Books of Nudes is another title to add to this list. Bertolotti has been collecting books on the nude for over 30 years. This amazing anthology of over 400 reproductions includes books by Germaine Krull, Duane Michals, Robert Mapplethorpe, Victor Skrebneski, Pierre Molinier, Kohei Yoshiyuki, Eikoh Hosoe, Bill Brandt, Martin Munkacsi and many others from throughout the world. Each book is presented with its original cover and a selection of photographs laid out as double-page spreads. More copies are arriving this week.

In addition to being a photo curator and critic, Beaumont Newhall was also a "foodie." He wrote an article for the Brighton-Pittsford Post while working at The George Eastman House in Rochester from 1956 to 1969. This upcoming title by Radius Books, Beaumont's Kitchen features articles and recipes from the column along with photos from the "Newhall Circle" including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Other upcoming titles found below along with expected dates are by Lee Friedlander, Malick Sidibe, Bill Owens, and William Christenberry.

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