TWELVE FOLIO-SIZED PHOTOTGRAPHIC REPRODUCTIONS FROM W. EUGENE SMITH’S MINAMATA, SIGNED BY THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND HIS WIFE, WITH A FINE FIRST EDITION OF THE BOOK
SMITH, W. Eugene. Minamata: Life— Sacred and Profane. [Tokyo: 1973]. WITH: SMITH, W. Eugene and SMITH, Aileen M. Minamata. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1975. Together, two volumes. Large quarto, original blind-stamped leatherette, original dust jacket. $3000.
First edition of this portfolio of twelve folio-sized photographic reproductions of Smith’s work relating to the tragedy of Minamata, signed on the front cover by both W. Eugene and Aileen Smith. With a fine first edition of the Smiths’ poignant photographic essay.
The portfolio accompanied the touring exhibition of Smith’s photo essay on Minamata, an area that had been poisoned by decades of dumping mercury into the local bay, where the photographer and his wife lived for three years. Smith’s book on Minamata, published in 1975, was a photographic essay sympathetically documenting the lives of the victims and their efforts to force the local chemical company to take responsibility for creating “Minamata Disease.” Text in Japanese and English. With a chronology of Smith’s life laid into portfolio.
Prints in fine condition. Minor wear to portfolio, otherwise a fine copy, with a fine copy of the book as well.