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Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art Paperback – July 28, 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Bulfinch; New edition edition (July 28, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821226231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821226230
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Szarkowski is director emeritus of the Department of Photography, the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He is the author of The Photographer's Eye, Photography Until Now, Irving Penn, and many other works on photography.

More About the Author

John Szarkowski (December 18, 1925 - July 7, 2007) was a photographer, curator, historian, and critic. From 1962 to 1991 Szarkowski was the Director of Photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The book is an education about photography.
David Enzel
One page is the image, the opposing page is a short essay on what is critically imporant about this photographer/image/style.
Jessica S. Gamble
I will never look at a photograph the same way after having read it.
F. Tombrello

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By F. Tombrello on April 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book fills the reader with emotion and knowledge about photography and photographs. I will never look at a photograph the same way after having read it. The language is beautiful and inspiring and photographs wonderfully reproduced. Anyone who loves the subject or art in general will find excitement on every page. NOW I can begin to know which photographers to study first and how to approach an enormous subject.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Although this book has much less female nudity than many photographic books, there are two such pages in the book. If this type of representation is offensive to you, either skip this book or avoid those pages.
This book has modest purposes. "This is a picture book, and its first purpose is to provide the material for simple delectation." Beyond that, it is "a visual interim report [as of 1973] on the results of collecting photographs at The Museum of Modern Art." These purposes are magnificently fulfilled, and your eyes and mind will be filled with many useful new perspectives and thoughts as a result of your delectations here. Your life will be expanded by seeing much more, both in photographs and in life, as a result.
Mr. Szarkowski, head of the photography collection at MOMA, points at that photography "has received little serious study." As a result, a language and analytical framework for considering photography are not yet developed. To overcome that limitation. Mr. Szarkowski has provided a number of perspectives in the one-page essays that accompany each page of photography. These perspectives include the utilitarian purpose of the image, the style of the photographer, the technology of the methods used, and the significance of the subjects or subject. He also draws your attention to detail or information that expand your knowledge. It is like having the best docent's photography tour of your life, as you go through the images.
These essays are modestly described as simply "an attempt to describe photography from a somewhat more liberal and exploratory perspective." Well, they are much more than that.
Read more ›
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David Enzel VINE VOICE on November 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
John Szarkowski has selected 100 worthwhile images and has crafted exceptionally well written commentary about each image. The value of the collection far exceeds the sum of the parts. The book is an education about photography. It doesn't matter how much you like an image or agree with the commentary because by seeing the image and reading the commentary you will learn about photography and about life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jessica S. Gamble on November 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got an undergrad degree in Photography and this is the best book I was ever required to read. I LOVE THIS BOOK!
If you are serious about photography, get this book. If you want to understand more about photography, get this book. If you know a photo lover, get this book!
One page is the image, the opposing page is a short essay on what is critically imporant about this photographer/image/style.

Really - if you are thinking about it and going so far as to read these comments, you should just go ahead and buy this book.
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