Acting Out: Cabinet Cards and the Making of Modern Photography
by John Rohrbach (Editor), Erin Pauwels (Contributor), Britt Salvesen (Contributor), Fernanda Valverde (Contributor)
Cabinet cards were America’s main format for photographic portraiture throughout the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Standardized at 6½ x 4¼ inches, they were just large enough to reveal extensive detail, leading to the incorporation of elaborate poses, backdrops, and props. Inexpensive and sold by the dozen, they transformed getting one’s portrait made from a formal event taken up once or twice in a lifetime into a commonplace practice shared with friends. The cards reinforced middle-class Americans’ sense of family. They allowed people to show off their material achievements and comforts, and the best cards projected an informal immediacy that encouraged viewers to feel emotionally connected with those portrayed. The experience even led sitters to act out before the camera. By making photographs an easygoing fact of life, the cards forecast the snapshot and today’s ubiquitous photo sharing. Organized by senior curator John Rohrbach, Acting Out is the first ever in-depth examination of the cabinet card phenomena. Full-color plates include over 100 cards at full size, providing a highly entertaining collection of these early versions of the selfie and ultimately demonstrating how cabinet cards made photography modern.
Hardcover, 232 pages – University of California Press – June 2020 – $45
Calotype or Paper Negatives: Historical and Alternative Photography
by Peter Mrhar
The book Calotype or Paper Negatives in the Historical and Alternative Photography series takes the reader into the first decades after the birth of photography. The daguerreotype had already wholly conquered the world, and Talbot’s paper negatives only became more popular after the introduction of various changes. But it was only with the improvements of different French photographers that the paper negatives reached their peak. In this book, we describe these most popular and reliable methods. Thus, the reader will gradually learn all the details of making paper negatives following the procedures of Guillot-Saguez, Le Gray, Greenlaw, and Pelegry. We also mentioned some old and new variants, we devoted a lot of space to solving problems and producing positive images. I have also presented various operations in making paper negatives in the videos found on my YouTube channel.
Paperback, 164 pages – Independently published – April 2020 – $31 – Available at amazon.com
The Decisive Network: Magnum Photos and the Postwar Image Market
by Nadya Bair
Since its founding in 1947, the legendary Magnum Photos agency has been telling its own story about photographers who were witnesses to history and artists on the hunt for decisive moments. Based on unprecedented archival research, The Decisive Network unravels Magnum’s mythologies to offer a new history of what it meant to shoot, edit, and sell news images after World War II.
Nadya Bair shows that between the 1940s and 1960s, Magnum expanded the human-interest story to global dimensions while bringing the aesthetic of news pictures into new markets. Working with a vast range of editorial and corporate clients, Magnum made photojournalism integral to postwar visual culture. But its photographers could not have done this alone. By unpacking the collaborative nature of photojournalism, this book shows how picture editors, sales agents, spouses, and publishers helped Magnum photographers succeed in their assignments and achieve fame. Bair concludes in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when changing market conditions led Magnum to consolidate its brand. In that moment, Magnum’s photojournalists became artists and their assignments oeuvres. Bridging art history, media studies, cultural history, and the history of communication, The Decisive Network transforms our understanding of the photographic profession and the global circulation of images in the pre-digital world.
Hardcover, 336 pages – University of California Press – July 2020 – $49.95
Polaroid Now: The History and Future of Polaroid Photography
Polaroid Then and Now celebrates the history and evolution of the first and foremost instant imaging camera system. Featuring both vintage and current Polaroid photography, this book covers iconic midcentury photographers and artists, as well as contemporary creatives. A foreword by Matthew Antezzo, Polaroid Art and Culture Director, provides both an historical account and a visionary view forward of the creative possibilities with the revered brand. An artist index features thumbnail images of every photograph included in the book along with the name of the artist, the location, date, and the specific Polaroid camera and film stock used. The cover of the book features the original 1960s packaging design by renowned graphic designer Paul Giambarba. This officially licensed partnership with the world-renowned Polaroid brand is the most comprehensive book published on Polaroid to date, showcasing the work of hundreds of photographers from all over the world.
Hardcover, 400 pages – Chronicle Chroma – August 2020 – Available from Chronicle Books
FINE ARTS, PRINTS, & GRAPHIC ARTS
This is What Democracy Looked Like: A Visual History of the Printed Ballot
By Alicia Yin Cheng
This Is What Democracy Looked Like, the first illustrated history of printed ballot design, illuminates the noble but often flawed process at the heart of our democracy. An exploration and celebration of US ballots from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this visual history reveals unregulated, outlandish, and, at times, absurd designs that reflect the explosive growth and changing face of the voting public. The ballots offer insight into a pivotal time in American history—a period of tectonic shifts in the electoral system—fraught with electoral fraud, disenfranchisement, scams, and skullduggery, as parties printed their own tickets and voters risked their lives going to the polls.
Alicia Yin Cheng is a founding partner of MGMT. design in Brooklyn, New York. She currently serves as an external critic for the MFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught at Yale University, Maryland Institute College of Art, Barnard College, and Cooper Union.
Hardcover, 176 pages – Princeton Architectural Press – June 2020 – $29.95
True Grit: American Prints from 1900 to 1950
By Stephanie Schrader, James Glisson, and Alexander Nemerov
In the first half of the twentieth century, a group of American artists influenced by the painter and teacher Robert Henri aimed to reject the pretenses of academic fine art and polite society. Embracing the democratic inclusiveness of the Progressive movement, these artists turned to making prints, which were relatively inexpensive to produce and easy to distribute. For their subject matter, the artists mined the bustling activity and stark realities of the urban centers in which they lived and worked…
True Grit examines a rich selection of prints by well-known figures like George Bellows, Edward Hopper, Joseph Pennell, and John Sloan as well as lesser-known artists such as Ida Abelman, Peggy Bacon, Miguel Covarrubias, and Mabel Dwight. Written by three scholars of printmaking and American art, the essays present nuanced discussions of gender, class, literature, and politics, contextualizing the prints in the rapidly changing milieu of the first decades of twentieth-century America.
Hardcover, 112 pages – Getty Publications – 2019 – $35
The Palgrave Handbook of Audiovisual Translation and Media Accessibility
By Łukasz Bogucki (Editor), Mikołaj Deckert (Editor)
This handbook is a comprehensive and up-to-date resource covering the booming field of Audiovisual Translation (AVT) and Media Accessibility (MA). Bringing together an international team of renowned scholars in the field of translation studies, the handbook surveys the state of the discipline, consolidates existing knowledge, explores avenues for future research and development, and also examines methodological and ethical concerns. This handbook will be a valuable resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students, early-stage researchers but also experienced scholars working in translation studies, communication studies, media studies, linguistics, cultural studies and foreign language education.