I find it surprising that there are not more monographs in print about the work of this remarkable photographer. Basically there are only two that visually cover his career in depth. This one and a German/English catalogue Andreas Feininger: That's Photography published in conjunction with a 2004 exhibition.
Both books obviously have a lot of duplication but this Abrams edition has the advantage of being larger and has more of Feininger's early work in Europe and a lot more of his exquisite nature photography, particular close-ups of shells and flowers. Feininger also writes, with feeling, about his childhood, early years in photography and arrival in America and subsequent success as a photojournalist. The back of the book has a bibliography and a date list of his favorite Life Magazine assignments. He completed 438 between 1943 and 1962.
The book's production is up to the usual Abrams standards. The 197 photos are printed as duotones with a 175 screen, though had it been produced in the last few years (instead of 1984) I feel it might well have a finer screen to bring out the quality in so many of these photos.
I think it's worth saying that I prefer, of the two books, 'That's photography'. Although it has a smaller page size, the tritone printing with a 250 screen really do make the photos sparkle but it also has an extra: it is the perfect book. The stunning photos; editorial flow; beautiful design; paper and printing make it one of those rare objects: something that is a pleasure to hold and turn the pages.
If you like Feininger check out my Listmania of other books.
***SEE SOME INSIDE PAGES by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.