‘The Gernsheim Collection’

Book Design

Book designed to showcase one of the most important collections of photography in the world, amassed by the renowned husband-and-wife team of Helmut and Alison Gernsheim between 1945 and 1963.

The Gernsheim Collection, housed at the Harry Ransom Center on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin, is one of the most important photography collections in the world. Amassed by the renowned husband-and-wife team of Helmut and Alison Gernsheim between 1945 and 1963, it contains an unparalleled range of images, including the world's earliest-known photograph, made by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826. Its encyclopedic scope—as well as the expertise and taste with which the Gernsheims built the collection—makes the Gernsheim Collection one of the world's premier resources for the study and appreciation of the development of photography.

The Gernsheim Collection is an oversized 360-page volume, designed by Pentagram, that presents masterpieces of the Gernsheim Collection, along with lesser-known images of great historical significance. Arranged in chronological order, this selection effectively constitutes a visual history of photography from its beginnings to the mid-twentieth century including iconic works by groundbreaking photographers like Sir William Henry Fox Talbot, Timothy Henry O'Sullivan, Eadweard J. Muybridge, Alfred Stieglitz, Jean-Eugéne-Auguste Atget, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, André Kertész, Brassai, Ansel Adams, Paul Strand, Arthur Rothstein, Robert Capa, Edward Weston, Arnold Newman, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, Aaron Siskind and Lucien Clergue. Each photograph in the book is accompanied by an extensive annotation in which Roy Flukinger, Senior Research Curator at the Harry Ransom Center, describes the photograph's place in the evolution of photography and also within the Gernsheim Collection itself. In a scholarly introduction Flukinger traces the Gernsheim's passionate and colorful careers as collectors and pioneering historians of photography, showing how their untiring efforts significantly contributed to the acceptance of photography as a fine art form and as a field worthy of intellectual inquiry.

DJ Stout
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