New York: E. Weyhe, 1930. Decorative Cloth. First Edition of this high point of twentieth-century documentary photography, from the library of one of the foremost documentary photographers. Preface (in French) by Pierre Mac-Orlan. Royal 8vo (267 x 207mm): ,23,pp, with frontispiece portrait of Atget by Berenice Abbot, 96 full-page sepia collotype plates from photographs of turn-of-the-century Paris by Atget, and 6-panel fold-out letterpress Table of Photographs. Original maroon wave-pattern silk-covered boards lettered in gilt, top edge stained saffron-yellow. Ben Shahn's copy, with estate book plate to front paste down. Spine sunned (as usual) but titling legible, plate margins very gently toned, lacking the slipcase, else a fresh, tightly bound copy, clean throughout. Roth (101 Books), pp. 60-61 ("Atget's photographs have come to be seen by many as the beginning of modern photography"). Roth (Open Book), pp. 90-91. Parr & Badger I, p. 127 ("giving exquisite visual pleasure—the most striking images from more than thirty years spent documenting the streets, buildings, parks, and gardens of Old Paris.") Fotographia Publica, p. 50. Near Fine+. Item #BB2247
Published simultaneously by Henri Jonquières, in Paris and Leipzig, on the occasion of a one-man exhibition at the Weyhe Gallery in New York; based on auction records, the New York issue seems the most desirable, although the Leipzig edition is rarest. In the early 1930s, Ben Shahn (1898-1969) shared a Greenwich Village studio with Walker Evans, from whom he learned the technical craft of photography and began splitting his time between taking photographs and paintings and drawings. Soon after, Shahn traveled extensively throughout the South and Midwest for the Farm Service Agency, documenting the plight of depression-era homesteaders and industrial workers and small town American life. In 1938, when Shahn’s association with the FSA ended, so did his serious involvement with taking photographs. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).