Sight and Insight

Philippe HALSMAN

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Sight and Insight


HALSMAN, Philippe. Sight and Insight. Garden City: Doubleday, 1972. Square quarto, original russet cloth, original dust jacket.

First edition of this wonderful collection of celebrity portraits, inscribed on the half title, “For Bobby Wolff, with many fond Birthday wishes, Philippe Halsman, March 18, 1973.”

“Halsman was one of the most productive portrait photographers of all time, having done a record 101 Life magazine covers over a 30-year period.” During his many photo shoots, “a technique he used to get subjects to relax was to have them jump up and down. Their reactions were so positive that he did an entire book with his subjects in mid-air- subjects like Winston Churchill, Brigitte Bardot, Jean Cocteau, Einstein, Richard Nixon, Salvador Dali, and Marilyn Monroe” (Photography Encyclopedia, 221-22). This is a representative collection of Halsman’s celebrity portraits. In his words, “If the photograph of a human being does not show a deep psychological insight it is not a true portrait but an empty likeness.”

Book fine, with only the slightest toning to spine, spine of dust jacket lightly sunned, one small closed tear to bright front panel. A near-fine copy.

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