Etudes de nu

Holding a copy of Germaine Krull’s Etudes de nu in your hands is a special event. The book (Librairie des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1930) is a rare find, with few copies available in public collections and even fewer coming up for auction. Those that do appear on the block can go for princely sums, some in the neighborhood of $10,000. Given the scarcity of the book, I was quite excited to find a copy just a couple hours away in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at the Art … Read more.

I Travestiti

Lisetta Carmi’s I Travestiti (Essedi Editions, 1972) is a disquieting book, and at times, looking at it feels like staring a little too long. Carmi’s images grant visual access to a marginalized group living on a rough fringe of 1970s Genoa society. The book succeeds in conveying the turbulent lives of these women as they pursue identity.

Carmi photographs in various modes, from constructed portraits to on-the-street-scenes. Overall, the images possess a tough naturalism that spares no spot, line, or wrinkle. This naturalism creates an unsettling contrast between the … Read more.


Up until November 2012, when MACK released a new edition in facsimile, Kodachrome by Luigi Ghirri (Contrejour, Paris, 1978) had been out of print for decades. The book was little seen and perhaps not as discussed as is its due, at least in America.

Parr and Badger cite Ghirri as a major influence on the rise of color photography in postwar European photography, likening the impact of Kodachrome in Europe to William Eggelston’s Guide in America (Volume I, p. 231). I agree with Parr and Badger’s description that Kodachrome is, “A … Read more.

Seeing Is Believing

File this under obvious, true, and worth repeating: Books are meant to be touched. Read all the reviews and watch all the preview videos you want, but the only way to truly know a book is to hold it in your hot little hands. This is especially the case for really good photobooks, ones in which the photographs and the book format support and inform each other.

A couple of years ago, I started thinking about this little truism in relation to classic photobooks. In 2011, the folks at … Read more.