Sunday, April 13, 2008

Concerning America and Alfred Stieglitz, and Myself


It’s been a crazy 10 days that I am finally coming off of. Between Aipad and Christy’s I am happy to return to listening to music and writing in this blog. I did have the pleasure of encouraging a collector I was working with to unsuccessfully bid on Emmet Gowin’s first self published book, Concerning America and Alfred Stieglitz, and Myself. Wow! Once this month of guessing my favorite book is finished here is a hint to my newest favorite book from the past. The title and the cover alone are more thought out than anything I have seen recently. Maybe there is something about him still being an art student at Yale and then Harvard that gave him the freedom create such an imaginative experiment. Not quite, this was done in his final year at Virginia Community College. Before even opening the cloth case we are given an homage to Robert Franks original printing of the Americans with the blue on white graph paper. Printed in red along the bottom, underneath sloppy junior high school sketches, reads Concerning America and Alfred Stieglitz, and Myself. What does that even mean? First one who gets this gets my entire collection. (Not really) But honestly as Gowin states “from the beginning I wanted to make pictures so potent I would not need to say anything about them" "This youthful homage is probably at least as much about America and the seductive power of photography as it is about Stieglitz”

Now the sad truth about collecting and holding onto photography books. I had a copy of this book 10 years ago that I got from a photographer who needed to unload his collection to finish a project he was completing. In pricing the collection I believe this was one of the books that we threw in the not worth much but I will take off your hands pile. This wasn’t me taking advantage of this sale, but rather my lack of knowledge combined with inability to foresee the growth of the rare photo book market. Five years later I must have sold it or given it away when I moved apartments. Well, It just sold for $85K at Christy’s where they renamed it Concerning America and Alfred Stieglitz, and Myself and 85 Thousand Dollars and Poor Decision to not Hold onto Books I loved.