Covering Photography, a web based archive and resource for mapping the relationship between the history of photography and book cover design.
Karl Baden, the sites curator, sent me information about a current show in the Boston Public Library’s Rare Book Exhibition Space called Influence and Coincidence.
In case you can’t make the show, be sure to check it out the virtual tour on a blog designed to cover the show.
The idea for ‘Covering Photography’ first occurred to me in 2002. I had fallen into the habit of haunting secondhand bookstores, spending hours searching, mostly without success, for classic photography books I couldn’t afford when I was younger, and are now as rare as hen’s teeth. While prowling the stacks, I began to notice familiar images from the History of Photography on the covers of novels, textbooks and volumes of poetry; books whose nominal subject matter didn't necessarily have a literal correspondence with the often iconic photographs that graced their jackets. Curious about this metaphorical relationship between cover and content, I began to assemble a collection that currently numbers more than 1,500 volumes, includes over 350 photographers, and spans the history of the medium, from Niépce, Daguerre and Fox Talbot through Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman, Carrie Mae Weems and other established contemporary practitioners. Also included in this collection is the work of a number of individuals who, though not primarily known as photographers, have produced photographic, or photographically-based, work which has had an impact on the medium. Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol are two such examples. Eudora Welty, best known as a writer, is another.
The real world version is up through December 31st, 2008 in the BPL's Rare Books and Manuscripts exhibition space the Boston Public Library is located at 700 Boylston St., Boston MA.
Hours are Mon - Fri, 9 - 5