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This book, which accompanies an exhibition of the same title on view at the International Center of Photography, presents an extraordinary group of images of African Americans in a variety of genres and poses: formal studio portraits, casual snapshots, images of children, images of uniformed soldiers, wedding portraits, so-called "Southern-views" made for tourist consumption. While some of the sitters are celebrities of the day, the majority are unnamed Americans posing for their photographic portrait. They attest to photography's ability to both record personal history for private uses and to been seen as a document of history in a wider context. The collection of about 1600 photographs date from 1860 to 1960 and was given to ICP in 1990 by Daniel Cowin. The images span a range of processes and formats - postcards, stereographs, cartes-de-visite, tintypes, albumen prints, and gelatin silver prints. Together they provide an important window into African American life during the period. The book will reproduce seventy color plates from the collection and includes essays by Brian Wallis and Deborah Willis and an annotated checklist.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9783865212252
ISBN-10: 3865212255
Format: Hardback
(280mm x 215mm x 17mm)
Pages: 128
Imprint: Steidl Verlag
Publisher: Steidl Publishers
Publish Date: 13-Feb-2006
Country of Publication: Germany

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Author Biography - Brian Wallis

Brian Wallis is Director of Exhibitions and Chief Curator at the International Center of Photography where he organized the Larry Clark retrospective (2005), and co-curated Young America: The Daguerreotypes of Southworth & Hawes (2005); Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of he American Self (2003) and Strangers: The First ICP Triennial of Photography and Video (2003). Deborah Willis is a MacArthur fellow and professor of photography and imagining, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. Recent publications include Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers 1840 to the Present (2000), and The Black Female Body: A Photographic History (2002) with Carla Williams and Black: A Celebration of Culture (2003).

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