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Group f.64: Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and the Community of Artists Who Revolutionized American Photography Hardcover – November 4, 2014
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“Alinder pulls together a treasury of assiduously assembled facts and her own personal memories, especially of Adams, for whom she worked as chief assistant, later becoming his biographer. Alinder is particularly revelatory in her coverage of tough and wily Cunningham, the lesser-known but no less intriguing trailblazers Willard Van Dyke, Sonya Noskowiak, and Consuelo Kanaga, and the bold museum directors and collectors who supported the group. As she chronicles the photographers' friendships, tempestuous love lives, epic parties, scrambles to survive, passionate manifestos, heated public debates, social and environmental concerns, and hard-won exhibitions, Alinder achieves an f.64 degree of crisp and commanding detail in this landmark group portrait of the visionary photographers who succeeded in 'forever changing our way of seeing.'” ―Booklist, starred review
“This lively group biography . . . tells a distinctly West Coast story about an ambitious, broad-minded, and unusually diverse movement . . . Alinder, who studied under Adams and later worked as his assistant, smoothly alternates between many individual careers while still maintaining a cohesive group narrative.” ―Publishers Weekly
“In her history of Group f.64 Mary Street Alinder traces the formation and impact of the collective in a colorful and heavily researched account that brings to life the characters and ideas whose impacts on photography today . . . Photographers interested in these individuals, the history of the medium and the cultural and economic milieu that shaped photography in the United States in the 20th century will find much to like in her book.” ―Photo District News
“Alinder's sympathetic history captures the excitement and energy of determined artists who invigorated and redefined the art of photography.” ―Kirkus Reviews
“A future classic in the history of American photography, here is the gripping story of a group of extraordinarily talented Bay Area photgraphers who created community for themselves in the midst of the Great Depression―and how from that community emerged a body of work stunning to this day in its bold advance of photography as fine art.” ―Kevin Starr, University of Southern California
“A fascinating and inspiring narrative, Group f.64 reveals both the personal and professional struggles and triumphs of an extraordinary group of photographers who changed the course of twentieth-century photography. This is a groundbreaking, major work of scholarship.” ―Peter C. Bunnell, McAlpin Professor of the History of Photography and Modern Art Emeritus, Princeton University
“A precise, vivid, and highly readable account that marks Group f.64 as one of the most significant episodes of twentieth-century American visual culture.” ―Julian Cox, founding curator of photography and chief curator, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
“Group f.64 offers a rich tapestry of individuals and institutions, of art and personal politics, of the search for truth, the challenge of change, and maybe even the complex triumph of photographic ideals.” ―Roy Flukinger, senior curator, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
“Mary Alinder presents the key figures as distinct and memorable personalities, while rescuing a host of previously marginalized figures from historical obscurity. The result is a wonderfully engaging and enlightening new look at one of the most important movements in modern creative photography.” ―Keith F. Davis, senior curator of Photography, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
“A fascinating narrative about making revolutionary art in hard times.” ―Carol McCusker, curator of photography, Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida
About the Author
Mary Street Alinder is an independent scholar specializing in twentieth-century photography. From 1979 until his death, Alinder was chief assistant to Ansel Adams. She worked closely with him on his bestselling autobiography, which she completed posthumously. She also coedited a volume of his letters and published the definitive biography, recently revised and updated in a new edition. In addition to her writings, Alinder has curated exhibitions worldwide, including the 1987 Adams blockbuster at the de Young Museum and a 2002 Adams Centennial exhibition. Alinder has lectured internationally, from Washington, DC's National Gallery to London's Barbican Centre and China's Shanghai Cultural Center. She lives in Northern California.
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It has 'fleshed out' these people and increased my appreciation of what they photographed and why.
I've studied everything I could find about them from magazines and books but this really filled in all of the missing pieces for me.
I purchased it as a Kindle ebook and enjoyed it on my iPad in my Kindle app.
For anyone that is interested in the golden age of photography, this book is a must read!
In 1932, when the group was formed, it was actually Edward Weston who was the pioneering visionary in the group, and a much more recognized and established artist than the rest. Where Adams tried to imitate Stieglitz's methods, Weston was often at odds with the the master and a much more independent and defiant thinker. He was also a reluctant member of Group f/64, and only joined as a favor to Adams.
I very much recommend reading this book, but also balancing it with other accounts, such as the one offered in David P. Peeler's "The Illuminating Mind in American Photography."
4.8 out of 5 stars 5 liked this book. I think it has some photos from all of the members of F.64
"Seeing Straight: The F.64 Revolution in Photography"
If you have not read Weston's "Day Books" they should be read now.