Crafted in the tradition of fine book making practiced surrounding the Calrence White School, this book of 43 rich photogravures printed on handmade paper is as beautiful as any. A classic from all perspectives.
Trained as a pictorialist by Clarence White, Doris Ulmann was particularly fascinated with important American cultural figures. Portrait Gallery portrays the leading magazine editors of her day, its images yielding a fascinating portrait of the 1920s American media and social worlds. In her introduction, Ulmann describes the concept behind the book: "We have generally thought of an editor as one closed off behind innumerable doors, an enigma, inaccessible. In this volume an attempt has been made to bring the editors to book, to portray their personality and something of their character by means of photographic portraits. Personality and character are often so illusive, so intangible that they defy and escape the most seductive efforts of reproduction and instead of rendering a living likeness, little more than an anatomical copy is made. In the brief editorial accompanying each likeness, graciously contributed by the original thereof, will be found a concept of the principles of editing and a point of view which have helped to mold our opinions."
One of an edition of 375 copies, of which 350 only were for sale. The types, designed and arranged by Frederic W. Goudy, have been set by Bertha M. Goudy at the Village press, Marlborough-on-Hudson, New York. Presswork by William Edwin Rudge, Mt. Vernon, New York . A beautiful example of fine bookmaking, photogravure and Ulmann’s portraiture.
Gillespie, Sarah K. Vernacular Modernism: The Photography of Doris Ulmann, Athens, Georgia : Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, 2018. pl. 44