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Philippe Halsman's Jump Book Paperback – October 5, 1986
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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Halsman, who had 101 Life covers to his credit when he died in 1979, felt a portrait that did not show psychological insight was "an empty likeness" of its subject. Rolleiflex in hand and tongue in cheek, he invented his own Rorschach test--"jumpology"--and talked his subjects into becoming airborne in the interest of science. Richard Nixon, Aldous Huxley, Marilyn Monroe, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor are among the celebrities he launches into orbit.
From Publishers Weekly
A portrait photographer for Life magazine in the 1950s, Halsman asked many of his subjects to jump for his camera. Here are shots of 191 celebrities in the air, ranging from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to John Steinbeck. This edition also includes previously unpublished shots, of Lucille Ball and Art Carney among others. A delightful exercise.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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This obviously persuasive photographer got statesmen, politicians, artists, actors, writers, scientists, theologians, comedians-- apparently just about everyone he asked-- to jump although some invitees said "no." They included Van Cliburn, Ed Murrow, Dag Hammarskjold, Herbert Hoover and most certainly Eleanor Roosevelt. (Tallulah Bankhead kept one foot on the ground.) I hadn't seen this book in several years. The two photographs I remembered with those of Salvador Dali and Marilyn Monroe. Other favorite shots are of Kitty Carlisle and Moss Hart, Shirley Temple, Joanne Woodward, Marcia Davenport, Adlai Stevenson, Grace Kelly and Judge Learned Hand as they jump.
Mr. Halsman wrote a very thought-provoking introduction to this collection in which he gives his theories about "jumpology." He certainly writes with a great deal of insight as well as humor. Dame Edith Sitwell "could. . . barely walk. . . I did not ask her to jump because it was obvious that the only thing Dame Edith could do well was to sit well." Some of his statements ring true. I'm not ready to jump on some of the others. Mr. Halsman opines that usually we, to quote T. S. Eliot, put on a face to meet the faces," and hide our feelings under our facial masks. When we jump, however, our faces show our true selves. That makes perfectly good sense. Case in point: Richard Nixon still looks like a caricature of himself when he is jumping. The artists also has theories about why men jump with their arms pointed toward the ceiling-- one arm versus both arms-- the significance of crossing the arms, keeping the arms to one's side, the differences in what the same motions mean when applied to men and women, the significance of removing one's shoes, the position of the legs, etc. In short, a fascinating essay. (Of all the men who jumped for Mr. Halsman, the only male to remove his shoes, showing dapper, designer socks as we would expect, while keeping his double-breasted suit buttoned, was the Duke of Windsor. I wonder what all that means.)
If you like photography or amateur psychology or just want to smile after a hard day at work, you should relax with this book.
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