Alvin Langdon Coburn. A Portfolio of Sixteen Photographs. Introduction by Nancy Newhall. George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, 1962. First edition. Folio. Cloth-backed portfolio boards. Limited edition of 2000 copies. 21 pp. large text booklet + sixteen collotypes, each tipped onto a separate sheet.
A handsome portfolio with a well-chosen selection of Coburn photographs, including some of his classic images: 'London Bridge,' 'Portland Place, London,' 'The Grand Temple, Grand Canyon,' 'The Octopus, New York,' a 1917 vortograph, and fine portraits of Mark Twain and others. The text includes historical and technical notes on the photographic processes Coburn used: autochrome, gum, gum-platinum, photogravure, platinum. Bibliography of books, articles, and broadcasts.
Alvin Langdon Coburn, a Boston patrician who lived and worked both in America and in Britain, was one of the major Photo-Secessionists and also a member of The Linked Ring. His early photographs were often atmospheric, and are sometimes referred to as Whistlerian. He championed the photogravure process, and produced some of the most important photogravure books of the twentieth century, including New York, London, The Door in the Wall and Other Stories, and Men of Mark. He also experimented with a kaleidoscopic prism lens to produce abstract images he called 'vortographs,' acknowledging a visual and philosophical debt to Wyndham Lewis' Vorticist Movement.
A fine copy, except for a few light scuffs and three old circular stains on back cover of the portfolio boards, and a few minor white specks at the lower right of the front board. (Front cover actually looks better than it does in the photograph.)