Book review: “Group f.64” by Mary Street Alinder

my first book review …

Group f.64: Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and the Community of Artists Who Revolutionized American Photography
by Mary Street Alinder
NY: Bloomsbury USA, 2014.
hardcover, 296 pages with appendix, notes and index.

What a pleasant surprise to find this new photography history at my local library. I was familiar with most of the main photographers listed as members of Group f.64, but knew nothing of the group or the details of its formation. Alinder, who has authored three books on Ansel Adams and who also had worked as his assistant, has included well-researched and well-documented information on the photographers, their families, their interactions with collectors, museum and gallery directors, as well as the photographers’ aesthetic and technical development. Classified as a biography by my library, the book is richly illustrated throughout, including a special 16-page insert. Alinder notes that the book was 16 years in the making, and writes with great intimacy of her subjects, having met many of the artists.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of American photography (particularly Group f.64, up to about 1940), and its long road to being accepted as one of the fine arts. I hope to one day add a copy of the book to my personal collection.


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