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Eisenstaedt: Remembrances Hardcover – October 1, 1990
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If you really want to know what the 20th century looked like from a front-row seat at the main stage, this book will show you. Alfred Eisenstaedt, who was born in 1898 and lived until 1995, apparently didn't miss a thing. To give but a glimpse of the view he captured, this volume, published on the hundredth anniversary of his birth, includes scores of his most famous photographs. The portrait of a scowling Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Culture and Propaganda, showing exactly what educated evil looks like; a sultry Marilyn Monroe, somewhat fuzzy around the edges because the flustered photographer used the wrong film; the adorable Mary Martin (pre-Pan), girlishly singing a Cole Porter tune; Jackie Kennedy, radiant, seated between her husband and the man who would succeed him; Bertrand Russell; Martin Buber; Helen Keller; Albert Einstein; Gordon Parks; Rebecca West; Learned Hand--they're all here.
There is no way for any collection to do real justice to a photographer of Eisenstaedt's reach, but this book goes far, including not just the celebrity images but many others that give a keen sense of the times in which he lived. There is a streetwalker in knee-high boots on the Rue Saint-Denis; a polished Rolls-Royce in front of the Ritz; an aged accordionist begging for a living outside Carnegie Hall; a Mississippi fiddler.
Like those of his contemporaries Cartier-Bresson, Lartigue, and Kertész, Eisenstaedt's photographs stop you in your tracks, their meanings more complexly layered with every passing decade. Take his shot of 5- and 6-year-olds, wide-eyed and screaming at a puppet show in a Paris park in l963, just as television was beginning its long, depressing siege on childhood's imaginative realm. Or the image of women in their spring chapeaus, taking afternoon tea on the roof of the Excelsior Hotel in Florence in 1934, pretending that their pleasant world would endure. The historical resonance of such images is what makes this a thinking person's book, but of course it is possible to love it just for the celebrities, nearly all of them now gone. --Peggy Moorman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In 1927 Eisenstadt sold his first photograph to a Czechoslovakian newspaper; less than a decade later he was pioneering the practice of pictorial journalism for Henry Luce's Life . The rest, as this latest collection of his works attests, is history. With the help of O'Neil, director of exhibitions and vintage prints at Life , Eisenstadt has assembled a trip down memory lane that is overwhelming in historical scope and is utterly pleasurable proof of his stature as the father of photojournalism. From the outset of his career, "Eisie" focused a keen eye on topical subjects: in the 1930s he photographed Hitler, Goebbels and Mussolini, as well as Garbo, Toscanini and Bernard Shaw, and recorded the dying embers of prewar glamour in Europe. In the '40s and '50s his lens captured such Hollywood greats as Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren, along with writers W. H. Auden and T. S. Eliot. Between portraits of the famous reproduced here are equally recognizable images of anonymity: a sailor grabbing a Victory Day kiss at Times Square, children shrieking at a Parisian puppeteer's show.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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It was in 1935 that Eisenstaedt emigrated to USA, where he got a job in LIFE. The huge gallery of photographs is certainly impressive. From Winston Churchill making the famous V of Victory, Goebbels, Jacqueline Kennedy, Hanna Schygulla, Richard Nixon, the Queen Elizabeth II, Nicola Benoit, Nathan Milstein, Arturo Toscanini, Charlie Chaplin, Albert Einstein, Gordon Parks, Hitler, Hemingway, W.H. Auden, Baryshnikov ,Gene Kelly, Lyndon Johnson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alma Mahler, Charles Laughton, among other nor less important personages of the past Century.
Also deserve special attention his landscapes, anonymous persons in quotidian labours, famous automobiles, war images during the bloody WW2 that move you, kids in a puppet theatre, scenes from ballets, crew of railroad men, wicker sawyer, a giant oak, Andrew Wyeth's bed or a young friar walking by Vechio Bridge in Florence.
With motive of being celebrating its fiftieth anniversary, The Beaux Arts Museum made possible between July 1 and August 31 1987, an unforgettable compilation composed by 118 works, thanks to the good auspices and organisation by the International Centre of Photography, in New York. Because and despite the fact I had heard about him, this exposition opened my eyes before such huge talent and formidable eye-artist.
This biography will capture your senses from start to finish. Don't miss it!
Eisenstaedt loved his work and lived for it. And there is a certain special kind of light which emanates from his best photographs, the light of life seen into , recaptured on film and presented to us as gift for our immediate viewing and deeper reflection.
I by the way strongly recommend reading the more extensive and simply better review by Donald Mitchell of the Eisenstaedt work which also appears on the Amazon site.