Friday, October 17, 2008

Display case 1 (Brandt)

  The two book covers above may be seen to symbolically define the parameters of this exhibition. Both cover illustrations, it may be argued, have a greater or lesser connection to photographs taken by the British photographer Bill Brandt. The cover drawing for George Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier is clearly a stylized copy of Brandt's 1937 photo Coal Searcher Going Home to Jarrow, and serves as a fitting metaphor for Orwell's politically charged book about coal miners in England's industrial north.

Title: The Road To Wigan Pier

Author: George Orwell

Publisher: Harvest/HBJ Books 1958

Designer / Illustrator: John Alcorn

  The inspirational source for the cover of Karen Robards' steamy thriller Bait is not as obvious. Seen next to Nude, London 1952, one of Brandt's most popular and widely-reproduced images, there does seem to be a similarity, but is it a case of influence or merely coincidence? Photographers do, after all, look at each others work, and can't help having their vision shaped by the icons of photo history. And if the resemblance is coincidental, just what is it about the combination of raking side-light and the undulating crook of the subject's arm that made both photographers trip the shutter?

Title: Bait

Author: Karen Robards

Publisher: Signet 2005

Designer / Illustrator: Not listed


wjsussman said...


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janelo said...

oooh... diggin this.