Friday, January 18, 2008

802 Photobooks from the M+M Auer Collection


How many great photo books would you guess have been published so far? Between Parr/Badger, Roth 101 and Open Book there are about 500 books featured collectively, but how many more were overlooked, unknown, or met the editing axe due to subjectivity? One thousand?

A new book called 802 Photobooks from the M + M Auer Collection brings a few more obscure titles to light. Michele and Michel Auer have over 20,000 photo books in their personal library and this selection of 802 is meant to show the variety of choice available above and beyond the other books of photobooks.

When I heard of this book, my first thought was “802 books? Great…the more the merrier, time to give the ABE search engines a workout” but upon seeing a copy, I am starting to think that after 500, there is a big drop off from the look of things.

I have to say from the look of things because one of the biggest drawbacks to this book is that it provides no information about the content other than a thumbnail photograph of the cover or a spread, the physical size and publishing info. So this is a judge from the cover, do your own research approach that may have you spending money simply due to a book’s cover image.

802 Photobooks is very small at only four by six inches but the two inches worth of pages gives it a decent heft. The printing is adequate even though the images are not much bigger than 35mm contacts.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy looking through this as much as many of the other books on photo books but I really do not see much of a point without the educational benefit of descriptions of the content. This may be the closest you get to porn for photobook geeks.

http://www.auerphotobooks.com

Buy online at Schaden.com

1 comment:

Stuart Alexander said...

The Auers are impressive for plowing ahead with their own massive projects such as their directory of photographers. But these 'reference' books are always plagued with errors that compromise their seeming authoritativeness. A glaring example in the '802 Photobooks' volume is the inclusion of Mary Ellen Mark's 'Ward 81' with books published in 1959 instead of 1979 where it belongs.