"A NEW AND DARING DREAM": FIRST EDITION OF MANHATTAN MAGIC, 1937, WITH LARGE SPLENDID PHOTOGRAVURES FROM IMAGES BY PHOTOGRAPHER MARIO VON BUCOVICH
BUCOVICH, Mario. Manhattan Magic. (Philadelphia: Beck Engraving, 1937). Tall quarto, original spiral-bound pictorial stiff paper wrappers. $800.
First edition of European photographer Bucovich's 1937 tribute to Manhattan—a "dream built in granite"—with over 80 full- and double-page velvety photogravures of New York City, in original spiral-bound wrappers.
To photographer Mario von Bucovich, known for his 1920s photobooks on Berlin and Paris, New York City defied history itself. "Nothing," he writes herein, "has been created approximating the daring venture realized in Manhattan… a new and daring dream"—one captured by his photographs as America pivoted out of the Great Depression in the late 1930s. The striking photogravures in Manhattan Magic span the city in over 80 full- and double-page images—from Wall Street to Central Park, and from the skyline at sunrise to sparkling skyscrapers at night. Philosopher Walter Benjamin was among those drawn to his work, in particular Bucovich's 1928 Paris photobook. Benjamin saw, in his image of the Seine, "a reflection of photography itself… in the city of looks and looking" (Esther Leslie). Title page numbering of "Eight-Five Photographs" includes the double-page skyline of Manhattan (pp. 11-12).
Images fresh and crisp, light edge-wear to fragile original wrappers. A handsome near-fine copy.