Photographs 1920 Paris 1934

Editorial: James Thrall Soby
Medidas: 0.00 x 0.00 cm

Folio (312 x 384 mm), pp.[vi], 1-24, [2], 25-42, [2], 43-66, [2], 67- 84, [2], 85-104, [1] blank, [1] imprint. 104 black-and-white photographs printed in gravure, texts by Man Ray, Paul Éluard, André Breton, Rrose Sélavy, and Tristan Tzara, frontispiece after a drawing of Man Ray by Picasso. Original spiral bound colour photo-illustrated wrappers; some tabs at the head and foot of spine detached, light wear to edges, crease to bottom corner of upper side, small piece missing from spiral binding, small stain at foot of spine affects first 11 leaves, corresponding small area of abrasion to title-page, previous owner’s inscription to verso of upper side. Rare.\n\nFirst edition, with the rare first issue title-page. James Thrall Soby was an important patron to the avant garde in the United States. Alfred Barr, Director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, had encouraged Soby to visit Man Ray in Paris; following their meeting Soby subsidized the production of this, the first monograph of Man Ray’s work. Man Ray had hoped that royalties from the sale of this book would enable him to make a long-overdue trip back to New York. Photographs… was well received in France, but in the United States the reception was distinctl less enthusiastic. Lewis Mumford wrote in The New Yorker that Man Ray had ‘done almost everything with a camera, except use it to take photographs… photographing calla lilies so that they will look like drawings by a second-rate academician.’ Commercially it was not a success. In an attempt to generate sales the book was recalled and the original title-page was replaced with one stating ‘deuxième édition’. The favourable reception in France also led to the second edition being titled in French with attention drawn to the other contributors. ‘Copies with the original title page are exceedingly rare’ (Roth).\n\nRegards sur un siècle de photographie à travers le livre, (47); [second edition] Roth, A., The Book of 101 Books, pp.80-1; Auer, M. and M., 802 photo books, p.210.


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