While the history of photography is a well-established canon, much less critical attention has been directed at the phenomenon of the photobook, which for many photographers is perhaps the most significant vehicle for the display of their work and the communication of their vision to a mass audience.
In the second of two volumes, both co-edited by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, the history of the photobook is brought fully up to date.
This volume covers company photobooks, artists' photobooks, photobooks that have been compiled by editors (rather than photographers), as well as the most recent photobooks, which chronicle contemporary life.
This study provides an important corrective to the traditional history of photography.
The selection of photographers made by Badger and Parr challenges the popular canon, and their survey of the history of the photobook reveals a secret web of influence and interrelationships between photographers and photographic movements around the world. The book is divided into a series of thematic chapters, each featuring a general introductory text providing background information and highlighting the dominant political and artistic influences on the photobook in the period, followed by more detailed discussion of the individual photobooks.
The chapter texts are followed by spreads and images from over 200 books, which provide the central means of telling the history of the photobook.
Chosen by Parr and Badger, these illustrations show the most artistically and culturally important photobooks in three dimensions, with the cover or jacket and a selection of spreads from the book shown.