Pictorial Artistry. The Dramatization of the Beautiful in Photography. Photographs and text by Adolf Fassbender. B. Westermann Co., New York, 1937. Elephant folio. Edition of 1000 copies signed and numbered by Fassbender on colophon page. This copy additionally INSCRIBED on preliminary page. Full cloth with gilt stamped boards and spine. Internally spiral bound plates. Gravure plates by The Photogravure and Color Company, New York.
As one of the leading pictorialists of the 1930's and 40's, Fassbender made a major contribution to American photography over a 70-year career. He first received wide acceptance during the 20's and 30's when camera clubs played a prominent role in the country's photographic culture. In as clear a statement of the ethos of the pictorial style that one is likely to see, he writes in his introduction to this lovely volume, pictorial photography "is the expression of what we see in terms of photography...improved by the wealth and skill of our imaginative and interpretive development. The camera and the lens, as such, are only the mechanical devices...the means to the beginning of Pictorialism in photography."
The rich gravure plates are printed recto only (and are often seen detached from the book) with facing text describing the scenes depicted, the composition, the technical problems, and the equipment and settings employed.
Internally clean and fine with spiral binding secure; boards frayed and torn at edges and joints; scattered staining.