I volunteer for our Local Historical Society: The Briarcliff Manor-Scarborough Historical Society (BMSHS). The Society is housed in the Eileen O’Connor Weber Historical Center, which is on the lower level of Briarcliff Manor Library building.

The other day I had a few minutes to spare, and I fancied a change of scene, so I went into the library and browsed around the shelves and came across this volume: André Kertész of Paris and New York. It was designed to accompany a 1985 exhibition of his work in The Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. There’s a review of the book here. I started to read it and after a while I decided that I wanted to get a copy for myself. I managed to find a very good, and quite inexpensive copy on Ebay.

Many photobooks have lots of pictures, but only limited text. I guess the logic is that the pictures should be able to stand by themselves and shouldn’t need the text to explain them. I’m not convinced that this is necessarily true even for captions and/or descriptions of individual photographs. But what I like is what this book has: substantial essays on various topics, in this case: “André Kertész: The Years in Paris” by Sandra S. Phillips; “Kertész and his Contemporaries in in Germany and France” by David Travis; “André Kertész: The Making of an American Photographer” by Weston J. Naef. With the Foreword, Acknowledgements and Preface these take up 95 pages! They are followed by 131 pages of plates, sections of the exhibitions catalogue, a bibliography and index.

There’s a lot of good stuff here and so far, I’ve only scratched the surface. I can’t wait to read the rest.

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