Book Review: Ruth Orkin – A Photo Spirit

Ruth Orkin: A Photo Spirit reproduces over 200 of Orkin’s photographs in honor of what would have been her 100th birthday. It’s the most definitive collection of her work to date.

Book Review: I See a City by Todd Webb

This collection of Todd Webb’s work is a compelling and elegant visual record of 1940s New York–a city on the verge of enormous change–as well as an opportunity to discover a great 20th Century photographer who’s been largely overlooked.

Binge-Worthy #5½: I Need A Ride To California (Morris Engel, 1968)

On the heels of The Little Fugitive, we take a look at Morris Engel’s long-lost, recently restored 1968 feature film, which chronicles the experiences of a free-spirited young woman immersed in the East Village counterculture scene.

Binge-Worthy #5: The Little Fugitive (Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin, 1953)

At the start of the 1950s, Photo League members Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin made a low-budget independent feature called The Little Fugitive using a small, custom-built portable 35mm camera. Their unassuming and charming debut as filmmakers went on to have an unexpected and considerable influence on the film world.

Book Review: Fotoclubismo by Sarah Hermanson Meister

A beautifully printed, densely informative catalog that accompanies the current MoMA exhibit (on view through September), Fotoclubismo highlights the visually innovative photography of a largely unknown mid-20th Century amateur photography club in Brazil.

Binge-Worthy #4: In The Street (Helen Levitt, 1948)

In the Street is a sensitively observed slice-of-life portrait of Spanish Harlem shot in 1948 and released in the early 1950s. Acclaimed street photographer Helen Levitt collaborated on the film with her sister-in-law, painter Janice Loeb, and author James Agee, who wrote the text for Now Let Us Praise Famous Men.

Book Review: Diana & Nikon by Janet Malcolm

In her collected writings on photography, New Yorker staff writer Janet Malcolm accomplishes what many critics set out to do but few achieve, illuminating much that is true about the medium in a unique, eloquent voice that is piercingly intelligent and bluntly honest.

Binge-Worthy #3: Gare de Lyon (William Klein, 1963)

Gare de Lyon, one of WIlliam Klein’s earliest filmmaking efforts, is much more modest in ambition and scale than his later films. It’s a quick sketch made by a brilliant autodidact who is just beginning to test the limits of the medium—and a relatively simple concept executed extremely well.

Book Review: Yamabito, the Mountain People by Osamu Sato

In the 1970s, an unassuming Tokyo salaryman used his one day off each week to journey into the mountains of Gunma Prefecture, an 8×10” view camera in tow. Leaving the city behind, he trekked—first by train, then by bus, and finally on foot—until he arrived at the remote villages there.

Book Review: Grim Street by Mark Cohen

Photographer Mark Cohen stalked the same small radius of Wilkes-Barre, where he lived and worked, for decades, taking groundbreaking and revealing photos of small-town life that revel in the details. A well-edited selection of his black-and-white work comprises Grim Street.