Thursday, 3 March 2011

IMAGINING PARADISE Book Review


66662
Title: IMAGINING PARADISE: The Richard and Ronay Menschel Library
Author: SHEILA FOSTER ET AL
Rare works of great consequence can be found within the library of Richard and Ronay Menschel at George Eastman House in Rochester, USA, renowned for its collection of books on photographic history. More than 250 rare books have been carefully selected for this superb tome to reflect the incomparable strength and depth of this unparalleled remarkable library. Each work is richly illustrated and accompanied by commentary written by prominent scholars in photographic history. The selected works represent a broad range of subjects - bucolic landscape, travel and exploration, science and medicine, the literary and the illustrious. Groundbreaking publications by featured photographers include the Incunabula of William Henry Fox Talbot, the Reveries of Maxime du Camp and Francis Frith, the idyllic visions of Peter Henry Emerson and the exceptional books by Alvin Langdon Coburn, both published and unpublished. You will find highlights of the turn-of-the-century international art movement as well as Alfred Stieglitz's momentous Camera Work and 291. The book features works with many and various photographic processes - tipped-in original salt prints, albumen prints, platinum prints, photogravures, carbonprints, collotypes and Woodbury types. The book offers a glimpse into the library's many versions of Daguerre's seminal instructional manuals describing the Daguerreotype process with translations in five different languages. Here too are landmark manuals, journals and technical books published during the first 50 years of photography written for both amateur and professional. Rare works include the copy of the Treaty between Great Britain and China signed at Nanking in 1842 with the Chinese text copied by the photographic process licensed by Talbot to W. Henry Collen, the only known photographic copy of the Treaty that ended the First Opium War and ceded Hong Kong. Also presented are works of exceptional beauty such as The Holy Bible, a two volume edition dating from 1862-63, bound in rich red Moroccan leather with gold letter press, finished with bronze clasp and illustrated in the 1860s with 56 photos by Francis Frith. We open the gates to a special library we may never have chance to visit. 2007 first edition. 288pp lavishly illus, 11" x 12".
Published Price: $85.00
BIBLIOPHILE PRICE: £40

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