EASTMAN HOUSE TRIBUTE TO COBURN, WITH 16 LARGE MOUNTED PHOTOGRAVURES FROM HIS WORKS
(COBURN, Alvin Langdon). NEWHALL, Nancy. Alvin Langdon Coburn. (Rochester: George Eastman House, 1962). Folio, original brown paper-covered portfolio, containing staple-bound pamphlet in russet wrappers and 16 loose mounted photogravures. $950.
First edition of this representative selection from Coburn’s works, one of 2000 copies for members of Eastman House, with 16 lovely mounted photogravures, including portraits of Twain, Yeats and Chesterton.
Alvin Coburn (aka “The Hustler”) was an important member of Alfred Stieglitz’s Photo-Secessionist group and of the Linked Ring in Britain, whose aim it was “to produce works of poetic beauty through photography” (Frizot, 306). He is best known for his photographs of cities, London (1909) and New York (1910), and for his portraits of famous men, Men of Mark (1913) and More Men of Mark (1922), all containing his own hand-pulled photogravures. “Coburn took many soft-focus cityscapes, some from rooftops that created distorted perspectives and emphasized the abstract patterns of city streets” (McDarrah, 85). “He made narrow vertical pictures to accommodate the upward thrust of the skyscraper; and he constantly flattened the picture-space, almost like a Cubist, using long lenses to layer the city’s activities” (Parr & Badger, 74). This commemorative portfolio draws upon all of Coburn’s works in representing changes in his style and technique, from “modernist” pictorialism to abstraction. Accompanied by an art critique by Nancy Newhall. See Roth, 38.
Pamphlet and plates fine. Slight abrading to original portfolio and pocket split. Internally a beautiful copy.