Portrait of Miss R Coburn, Alvin Langdon  (American, 1882-1966)

This well-received book advocating pictorial photography was published simultaneously in New York, London and Toronto. Anderson, an English author, thoroughly covered creative photography and its technical side in the text. The 12 rich, small hand-pulled photogravures were all by leading pictorialists of the time; Alvin Langdon Coburn, F. Holland Day, Baron Adolf De Meyer, Frank Eugene, Gertrude Käesebier, George H. Seeley, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz and Clarence H. White. Coburn who, characteristically etched his own plates, consulted with the publisher and oversaw the quality of all the photogravures. Demonstrating the international nature of the movement, the photographers hail from England, France, Italy, and the United States. Equally impressive is the fact that the book was published nearly simultaneously in three countries: England (Stanley Paul and Company, London, 1910), Canada (Copp, Clark Company, Toronto, 1910), and America (Dodd Mead and Company, New York, 1911). The leading monthly American Photography reviewed the book, exclaiming that “Mr. Anderson has produced in this comprehensive and clearly written exposition of pictorial photography by far the most illuminating and helpful treatise on the subject which has appeared in some years.” (July 1911, page 437). The book, in fact, was so successful that another edition was issued a few years later (1913 in New York and London, 1916 in Toronto). Retitled The ABC of Artistic Photography, perhaps to appeal to a less sophisticated audience, it was slightly smaller in scale and page count, although it covered all the same topics. Not surprisingly, the number of photogravures was also reduced, to just four. (Peterson)