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The Day in Its Color: Charles Cushman's Photographic Journey Through a Vanishing America Hardcover


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The Day in Its Color: Charles Cushman's Photographic Journey Through a Vanishing America + Kodachrome Memory: American Pictures 1972-1990
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199772339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199772339
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Review


"Imagine Berenice Abbott or Walker Evans in technicolor and you have an idea of the beautiful work in this book." --The New York Post


"[Cushman's] images--landscapes, street scenes, the occasional bathing beauty--gorgeously resurrect a lost time." --Chicago Magazine


"Sandweiss takes readers along on a long, meticulously researched, but personable journey through the life, work, and times of this photographer. The images are lovely and offer glimpses into the daily life of small farms, rural towns, and bustling city streets between 1938 and 1969...Readers interested in photography or American social history will enjoy this lovely book." --Library Journal


"[The Day in its Color] supplies a fascinating footnote to the history of early color photography...Cushman was at his best in wordlessly illustrating the ambitions and failures of midcentury life through reality checks on his surroundings. If nostalgia rips through most of the book, it is Cushman's obsession with photography that reigns supreme."
--Linda Yablonsky, Artnet


"Disdained at first by both 'serious amateurs' and professional photographers, the color film called Kodachrome proved a tremendous boon for more casual snap-shooters, people on holiday with family and loved ones. The Day in Its Color focuses on a single remarkable collection of thousands of color slides by a determined Chicago businessman. By tracing the life of one ardent amateur in these strained wartime and postwar years, 1938 to 1969, the book offers a uniquely original perspective, in full and surprisingly compelling Kodak color, into an age at once complacent about itself and terribly confused." --Alan Trachtenberg, Professor Emeritus of English and American Studies, Yale University


"Because Charles Cushman was neither an art photographer nor photo-journalist and because so many of the color slides he took in the decades before and after WWII recorded ordinary landscapes and urban views, his work was for many years all but forgotten. Rediscovered, cataloged and now accessible online, it provides a kind of time capsule, an extraordinarily vivid and colorful glimpse of an America that continues to disappear before our very eyes. In this book Eric Sandweiss provides a complete and compelling introduction to Cushman's unlikely career, the times that he lived through, and the spectacular legacy that he left." -Robert Bruegmann, Professor Emeritus of Art History, Architecture, and Urban Planning, University of Illinois at Chicago



More About the Author

Eric Sandweiss is Carmony Professor of History at Indiana University. He is the co-author of "Eadweard Muybridge and the Photographic Panorama of San Francisco" (winner of Western History Association's Kerr prize for best illustrated book) and author of "St. Louis: The Evolution of an American Urban Landscape."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cathleen C. Duff on March 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a total impulse buy and I am very glad I got it. The color prints are beautifully reproduced and there is just enough copy to understand the photographer, but not enough to interfere with the gorgeous pictures. Stabs of memory are on every other page -- what a beautiful memoir.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Picking up this book, THE DAY IN ITS COLOR, is akin to opening that chest in the attic and discovering a family album of photographs that bring back all the history of your life in a moment of passion for everything you have loved. Charles Cushman's gift to our emotional history is placed before the public in this touching book of images from across the United States taken from 1938 to 1969 by a man not formally trained as a photographer but a man who was obsessed with travel, and while following his obsession, happened to document on color Kodachrome film those little aspects of midcentury America that often went unnoticed and that have since disappeared in many cases.

The odd aspect of this collection if the fact that these 150 images are only the tip of the photographic realm Cushman produced: his recently discovered legacy contains almost 14,500 color photographs that were unknown until after his death (Cushman was born in 1896 and died in 1972). These images - including festivals, monuments such as the Grand Canyon, movies sets, cityscapes, landscapes, skylines, portraits of various ethnic groups, of children and of people he found interesting from San Francisco to New York and every place in between. His eye paused for the simple aspects of living, with glimpses into the daily life of small farms, rural towns, and bustling city streets, Brylcreem signs that marked the bumpy roads across the country, county fairs, people passing time with neighbors, bustling city streets - and all photographs were documented with time and place.

This book is definitely part of the definition of `outsider art' and now that the imagery has been captured in this fine volume Cushman is guaranteed a place in the annals of color photography and as a particularly sensitive historian. Eric Sandweiss provides the written word that so gracefully enhances this fine book. Grady Harp, October 12
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Britt Olinder-Stevens on January 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I found out about this book on NPR I knew it would make the perfect Christmas gift for my grandfather. I did not ever have this book in my possession, but I did get to view a slide show of the photos on NPR's website. The man who took these photos was a reporter in Chicago and chronicled the city and his travels across the US. There is a lovely story about his troubled wife, whom he retired for and took care of after a suicide attempt. They spent the remainder of their days touring the country and she is the subject of many photos with sweeping and breathtaking backdrops, or famous landmarks. He also captured so much of the mundane, that a historical record of daily life has been preserved in these photos. You will note that the photos are made with color-saturated Kodachrome stock, and are extremely unusual. If you are interested in any of these subjects, or have a loved one from this era, I highly recommended this purchase.
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By R. Hoots on January 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Chronicled in this classic collection of kodakchrome photos is a pictorial history of America in the years between 1938-1969. The photographs are spellbinding as they relate the changing emotions of the landscape and the inhabitants during this transitory period that has been forgotten in our current frenetic technological state. Using a 35 mm camera with the then new kodachrome color film, Charles Cushman a traveling businessman, acted as an itinerant photographer, capturing the essence of the country. Moving across the continent, west to east and north to south, his images recorded the people, the neighborhoods, agricultural sites, the glory of the natural scenery, industrial production, urban development and suburban life. For the mature, these images will reawaken memories, for the youthful the picture recall life in the past century. This series of sensitive photographs have a patina of thoughtful timelessness that is lacking in the precise digital reproductions currently in vogue. Along with artists like Edward Hopper, this amateur photographer and his candid collection of color slides filtered through his eyes serve as a hallmark of social realism.
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