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The Journal of Contemporary Photography, Museum Editions with Portfolios



The Journal of Contemporary Photography

21st Editions Museum Editions, 1998 - 2003

Featuring 6 Signed Volumes and 75 Free Standing Signed Prints

MINT Condition in Original Cartons

History: From 1998 to 2003, fine press photography book publisher 21st Editions released 6 volumes of The Journal of Contemporary Photography. They were released in 3 editions: The Museum Edition, The Deluxe Limited Edition, and the Trade Edition. Each volume features hand-pulled photogravure images from many of the world's most highly respected contemporary photographers. Each gravure was made by Jon Goodman, the modern master of the process. These images are combined with brilliant criticism, poetry, and fiction from many of the world's most acclaimed writers. Not since Alfred Stieglitz's Camera Work has there been such attention to beauty, such incisive criticism, and such an articulate melding of visual and literary points of view. Each volume is both an object of beauty and a fine art investment.

Details on the Books and Portfolios: The Museum Editions contain original hand-pulled photogravures and color planographs (waterless lithographs) that illuminate the essays and commentaries found in each book. The Museum Editions are bound in Moroccan goatskin, Japanese silks and Italian fabrics, and are cased in a matching portfolio box. They are fully signed on the limitation page by the artists included in each volume. Each book measures approximately 15.25” x 13.75” and the clamshell box measures approximately 16.875” x 14.75”. In addition, The Museum Editions are accompanied by a portfolio that includes an additional set of unbound, individually signed photogravures and planographs, allowing the collector the opportunity to frame and display all the fine prints included in each volume. There have been 6 volumes of The Journal published:

Volume I focuses on the “transcendent vision” of 15 major contemporary photographers, illustrated here in richly printed hand-pulled photogravure. Volume I also contains a woodcut by the late Leonard Baskin. Writers include Pulitzer Prize winning poet Richard Wilbur; prize-winning novelists Ann Beattie and Robert Olen Butler; poet and critic Dana Gioia; Harvard professors and award winning historians John Stilgoe and John Stauffer; and Wales’ great poet, the late R. S. Thomas, among many others.

Edition XII/L (12 of 50). The book is signed by the following artists whose work is featured in the book: Bernard Faucon, Michael Kenna, Holly Wright, Luis Gonzales Palma, Keith Carter, Duane Michaels, Steven Albahari, Mark Klett, Sandy Skoglund, Jock Sturgis, Ernestine Ruben, Willie Middlebrook, John Metoyer, Olivia Parker, Leonard Baskin, and Patrick Bailey-Maitre-Grand. The matching portfolio contains 16 fully signed, free-standing photogravures and woodcut.

Volume II extends the metaphysical themes of the first volume and brings together the work of 13 modern masters of the photographic arts. It contains original essays by France’s leading novelist Michel Tournier; philosopher Frederick Turner; award-winning photographic historian Lee Fontanella; novelist and playwright Elizabeth Dewberry; ovelist Josh Russell; and photographic historian and 21ST contributing editor Lance Speer.

Edition XII/L (12 of 50). The book is signed by the following artists whose work is featured in the book: Adam Fuss, Jaume Blassi, Bill Jacobson, Joyce Tenneson, Kenro Izu, Vik Muniz, Cy DeCosse, John Dugdale, Tom Baril, Joan Fonteuberta, Arthur Tress, Robert ParkeHarrison, and Sheila Metzner. The matching portfolio contains 15 fully signed, free-standing photogravures.

Volume III, entitled The Clandestine Mind, is devoted entirely to the lyrical work of John Dugdale. This master photographer’s elegant male nudes and still lifes, printed in rich blue inks to match the original tones of his cyanotypes, are complemented by a short prayer for Dugdale by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler; a poem by prize-winning poet Morri Creech; and an essay by John Wood, the editor of 21ST.

Edition XII/L (12 of 50). Signed by John Dugdale and features the following: Annunciation, Christ Out Liberator, The Clandestine Mind, I Could Not See To See, Longing, Mourning Tulips, Wonder Stings Me More Than Bee, and Three White Peaches. The matching portfolio contains 7 fully signed, free-standing photogravures.

Volume IV, entitled The Gardens of DeCosse, focuses exclusively on the beautiful works of Cy DeCosse. His elegant compositions range from the quiet of morning light falling on freshly picked vegetables to the riotous energy of flowers in full bloom. Literary contributors include fiction writer Scott Ely; gallery director John Stevenson; poet Susan Ludvigson; musician and scholar Carol Wood; and editor John Wood.

Edition IX/L (9 of 50). Signed by Cy Decosse and features the following: King of the Night, Sunflower, Fritillaria, Cultered Pearl, Squash, Flowers & Dill, Water Lilly, Tuscan Lemons, and Queen of the Night. The matching portfolio contains 7 fully signed, free-standing photogravures.

Volume V, aptly named Strange Genius, is an insightful examination of the ways in which artists today make conscious attempts to create work that can often be unsettling, difficult, even horrific, yet all the while retaining that strangely mysterious sense of what can only be called beautiful. Writers include poets Raúl Peschiera, Susan Ludvigson, Gerard Malanga, and Paul Zimmer; novelists Ann Beattie and Neil Connelly; and essayists Paul LaRosa, Lance Speer, and John Wood.

Edition XII/L (12 of 50). Signed by the following artists whose work is featured in the book: Sally Mann, Michal Macku, Connie Imboden, Vincent Serbin, Sheila Metzner, Andrea Modica, Josephine Sacabo, John Metoyer, David Levinthal, Stephen Berkman, Kelly Grider, Keith Carter, Christopher Pekoe, and Don Gregorio Anton. The matching portfolio contains 14 fully signed, free-standing photogravures.

Volume VI, an international survey titled Flesh and Spirit, combines the images of some of the finest contemporary Belgian, Brazilian, Chinese, English, French, Greek, Mexican, Spanish, and American photographers with the writings of many of the most respected novelists, playwrights, poets, and historians. Flesh and Spirit includes newly commissioned work by writers Edward Albee, Ann Beattie, Robert Olen Butler, Annie Dillard, Fang Jing Pei, Ann Patchett, Edmund White, Lance Speer and many others.

Edition XII/L (12 of 50). Signed by the following artists whose work is featured in the book: S. J. Staniski, Carol Munder, Toni Catany, Brigitte Carnochan, Wouter Deruytter, Robert Stivers, Don Hong Oai, Jayne Hinds Bidaut, Ariane Lopez-Huici, Tony Catany, Christopher Bucklow, Flor Garduno, Greg Gorman, Dimitris Yeros, Jerry Spagnoli, and Phillip Trager. The matching portfolio contains 16 fully signed, free-standing photogravures.

Condition Report and Letter of Provenance: The books and clamshell boxes are in MINT condition and are still housed in the cardboard shipping cartons. A Letter of Provenance from Lance Speer, former 21st Editions Contributing Editor and Director of Marketing will accompany the collection.

Reviews: The following are some of the glowing reviews for The Journal of Contemporary Photography:

The Wall Street Journal: “21st intends to lead the way in the presentation and discussion (and collecting) of fine art photography. It certainly succeeds in matching the aesthetics of Camera Work …”

Photographic Magazine: “[A] pageant of imagery …. A virtual photography museum bound between two covers.”

Art and Antiques Magazine: “The rich, tactile reading experience imparts importance to the critical essays, prose and verse … it will appeal to collectors, artists (not just photographers), writers and other admirers of discourse on contemporary art.”

Black and White Magazine: “The books are indisputably gorgeous and sumptuous, a kind of photo-couture that few could expect to acquire. All of the essays, poems, and interviews by renowned historians, curators, and literary figures are commissioned exclusively for 21st; the images, by and large, are culled from the greatest hits of the artists’ oeuvres. I invited everyone I could find to look at them, certain that we would probably never see and handle books like these again. Everyone sighed and gasped as we carefully perused each loaned volume. These are not books to place on a shelf. They must be looked at; they should be shared.”

A stock photograph of the books and portfolios as well as a collage of the images in Volume 1, a photograph of Volume 1, and the signature page of Volume 1 appear in the photo section of the listing.