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Bruce Davidson: Outside Inside Hardcover – July 1, 2010

5 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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About the Author

Bruce Davidson's photographs are held in museums around the world. He has published several books and received many awards, including the first grant for photography from the National Endowment for the Arts to document one block in Spanish Harlem. Two one-man exhibitions of his work have been shown at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Steidl Photography International; Box Slp edition (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9783865219084
  • ISBN-13: 978-3865219084
  • ASIN: 386521908X
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 8.1 x 15.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 22.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Hardcover
Jane Livingston, in her excellent book 'The New York School', suggests that many photographers regard the medium of the photo book as something to aim for and in the section dealing with Bruce Davidson she quotes him: 'My work is about being bodies of work. You have to see the whole thing to see each part'. Steidl, with these remarkable three volumes of 944 pages and 834 photos, now make this possible.

A couple of Davidson's photo books are now very expensive so it could be that these three books are about as close as you'll get to see some of his great photos but it's worth saying that the original 'East 100 Street' book with 123 photos has ninety-one here and 'Brooklyn Gang' with seventy in the original has fifty-one here. Other books with extensive coverage in these pages include: Circus 1958, sixty-three; England/Scotland 1960, sixty-five; New York Subway 1980, nineteen; Central Park 1992-1995 eighty-three.

Book one 1954-1961, with fifteen sections gets off to a beautiful start with photos of John and Kate Wall who Davidson met by chance in 1955 while on military service in Arizona. John was ninety-four and Kate seventy-nine and in just thirteen superb photos Davidson reveals the depth of love between these two. One photo on page thirty has an extraordinary close-up of their holding hands. Another essay in this first book, that grabbed me, was England/Scotland 1960 which captured the tiredness of the country after years of austerity and before the Swinging England of the Sixties.

Book two 1961-1966, with twenty-three sections has some powerful photos of: Freedom Riders 1961; South 1962; Freedom March 1963; Birmingham, Alabama 1963; March to Washington and the Selma to Montgomery March 1965. In all 109 reportage photos covering the race politics of the era.
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Format: Hardcover
Like most of the photography fans that completely packed Morse Auditorium on Boston University's campus to hear and see Bruce Davidson's illustrated lecture and later book signing, I was honored to be there. Davidson was a famous photographer who documented many of the great social changes sweeping the USA while working first for LIFE magazine and then for the Magnum Photo Agency since 1958. He was already a master of his visual art when I was a college student 45 years ago. His early work, especially his mid-1950s coverage of Brooklyn Teenage Gangs, the civil rights struggle, his pictures of the Circus, and his England and Scotland coverage's were widely circulated. Most people who have never heard the photographer's name have probably seen many of his photographs. He was a master of black and white. His mother gave him a camera and built a darkroom for him when he was 10 years old, so he his been taking pictures for 67 years.
One of the questions a member of the lecture audience asked was whether he was still taking picture assignments. He said he still took photos, but usually only for his own projects that usually last for at least a year. He said for the past seven years he has been attempting to catalogue and find repositories for his more than a million negatives. He said he first realized he needed to undertake that job when his relatives inquired whether he was planning to leave a big mess for them to clean up. He and his wife had been living in the same Upper West Side apartment for forty years and Davidson admits that he is not a neat-nick. Davidson realized that it was time to personally arrange and protect his life's work or it probably wasn't going to get done properly.
Outside Inside is one of the results of that realization.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a monumental book of classic black-and-white photographs in three large volumes covering the work of one of America's outstanding photographer whose work parallels that of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eugene Smith and Robert Frank. It is a visual diary, a historical diary covering important events between the years 1954 to 2009. Davidson's photographs reflect compassion, conviction and concern, for the people he photographs. For 55 years, he has been an advocate for the less fortunate in all walks of life and continues to be so. May some of our younger photographers follow in his footsteps.
How Davidson has been able to edit the thousands of his photographs to just over 800 is a major accomplishment in itself. To this, add the many concise commentaries he has composed for each section in the three volumes. He writes as he photographs, with compassion from both heart and soul.
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Bruce Davidson is one of my favorites photographers. In 1981, I had the chance to exhibit his work in Switzerland. Since then, I have been collecting almost all his books. This one is the most definitive, well printed by Steidl and the more complete, from the first pictures to the most recent work. If you want to have only one Davidson book, it will be this one. It is the must have book.
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