David Douglas Duncan : My 20th Century


We are lucky to have some of the photographic masters still with us. I say      that, because photography is still a relatively young medium, and it’s    prevalence in our lives came to be within the last century.
One if the finest photojournalists and war photographers is David Douglas  Duncan, and at age 99, has put together his final book, My 20th Century  Here is an interview with him, on the occasion of the publication.

While filled with his iconic images of World War II and Vietnam, most recently I was re-aquainted with his work with Picasso.

By knocking on this door, he forged a relationship with the artist and his companion, Jacqueline.

This past fall, there was an encompassing exhibit called  Picasso and Jacqueline at the PAce Gallery in NYC. TWhen you arrived , the first rooms walls were filled with the images of the couple , made by David Douglas Duncan.

That started a whole new appreciation of the photographer for me.

His intimacy and access with photojournalistic subjects during wartime, was played out in the apparent friendship, and record of a couples life and love for one another.

He now lives in the south of France.

Back to the book.

When I moved from California to NYC, I left about 90 boxes of books in storage, and have a real love for the well made photobook.

There is something happening in the world of photobooks these days, however.

I’m not sure if the advent of tablets and the possibility of looking at images on a retina screen is the way we are going.

What I do know is that I wish the current crop of photobooks were larger. Like this one.

It does give you a taste of this giants work. There are a few too many mages, full bleed, over 2 pages. My pet peeve is photographs that get spread over 2 pages, destroying the intent of the whole image. Either make the image smaller or the book bigger.

You see, this is why I think about the download of a photo book. No photos stuck in the gutter of a book. Better.

This is an important book, especially since it was overseen by the photographer himself. At a cost of $19 at Amazon you can’t go wrong. But I’d do a downloaded version, if available.

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