Photo Book Wednesdays

We just can’t seem to ever get enough photo books. In the past months, we felt like we haven’t devoted enough time to the amazing array of new, old, and out of print photo books that help inform our collecting passions. So we’ve decided to get more systematic about things in the new year and mark a regular day (Wednesdays) where we will review photo books of all kinds: monographs, exhibition catalogues, art/photo criticism, etc. Since books tend to hang around a long time, and are a little less time sensitive than auctions and gallery shows, we feel like it is acceptable to group them together once a week (knowing full well that we still may write about books on other days as well).

A couple of quick notes on this process:
  • You can expect that we have bought every book we review with real cash money, unless we highlight the fact that it was given to us by an artist, gallery or friend.
  • We are only going to review books that we think are worth having in your library, so there won’t be any rating system or quality gauge: if it’s here, it’s worth your time (and money) in our opinion.
  • Since we’re not a media outlet, we don’t feel obligated to only review recently published books from the current year. We buy books from all kinds of sources and discover photographers in serendipitous ways, so we will very likely (and often) review books published years or decades ago, if they are new to us.
  • As we have said before, we don’t care about signed copies, books owned previously by famous people, or even first editions. We want a clean, fine copy that we can use as reference. So you won’t find many of the super high end, limited edition, slipcase kinds of books being reviewed here.
  • We will not link to Amazon, Abebooks or elsewhere in the hopes you will click through and earn us some referral dollars. If you are inspired to follow up on a book we have reviewed, you certainly can find it without our help.
There are of course lots of places to read reviews and criticisms of photo books (in the blogosphere, 5B4 (here) is the best we have found). We hope to add a collector’s perspective to the sea of commentary and let you follow along as we educate ourselves.

Finally, below is a picture of our idea of the perfect art library. It is an image of Donald Judd’s library at his ranch in Marfa, Texas (Judd Foundation website here.) To us, it looks like a practical, comfortable, welcoming place to sit down and enjoy art books. Just imagine if all those shelves were filled with photo books…

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