Friday, October 17, 2008

Display case 11 (Hine, Kasebier, Feininger)

  In these three covers, the original photograph, or portion thereof, has been used as the basis for a drawn or painted illustration. In the process of transformation, details are lost and details are added; whatever best serves the illustrator or designer in creating what they feel to be a visually compelling cover that in some way conveys the feelings or ideas which lie within the pages of the book.

  For the cover of Richard Hofstadter's Social Darwinism in American Thought, illustrator Leslie Evans has isolated a central detail of Lewis Hine's Breaker Boys working in Ewen Breaker of Pennsylvania Coal Co., 1911. The result is stylized but clearly recognizable.

Title: Social Darwinism in American Thought

Author: Richard Hofstadter

Publisher: Beacon Press 1985

Designer / Illustrator: Leslie Evans

  Here is Hine's image with the appropriated area highlighted:

  In Kate Atkinson's quirky novel, Human Croquet, a painting based on Gertrude Kasebier's 1902 photograph of Evelyn Nesbit is featured prominently on the books dust jacket, even though Nesbit, the early twentieth century beauty and mistress of the architect Stanford White, is not a character in the book. The central circular shape and it's shadow form a rather obvious visual pun on the books title.

Title: Human Croquet

Author: Kate Atkinson

Publisher: Melissa Barnes 1997

Deisgner / Illustrator: Henry Sene Yee

  Last, and perhaps most unusual, The Photojournalist, Andreas Feininger's 1951 portrait of photographer Dennis Stock has been transformed to create a bizarre amalgam of human and old-fashioned reel-to-reel tape deck for Records, Computers and the Rights of Citizens, a 1973 report (by an advisory committee appointed by Richard Nixon's former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Elliot Richardson) whose purpose, according to its preface, was to investigate "growing concern about the harmful consequences that may result from uncontrolled application of computer and telecommunications technology to the collection, storage, and use of data about individual citizens." Perhaps an interesting document to look back on in the light of The Patriot Act.

Title: Records, Computers, And The Rights Of Citizens

Author: Various

Publisher: MIT Press 1973

Designer / Illustrator: Not listed

               Please click 'Older Posts' (below) to continue viewing exhibit...

No comments: