Photography Past Forward: Aperture at 50

Founded in 1952 by Minor White, Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and other kindred spirits, Aperture magazine has been documenting the art of photography and encouraging its growth for 50 years. This anniversary book project was begun before the November 2001 death of the organization’s longtime director, Michael E. Hoffman, but was brought to completion by the magazine’s editor and other Aperture staff. The story of Aperture-which is now also the publisher of hundreds of books-is virtually a history of photography in America, as evidenced by the four-part, anecdotal account written by frequent Aperture contributor R.H. Cravens. The volume contains 250 color and black-and-white images from Diane Arbus, Paul Strand, William Eggleston, and dozens of others, chosen from issues of the magazine, as well as 40 previously unpublished photographs. Its arrangement is based on a curator’s eye rather than on chronology, creating both haunting juxtapositions and delightful serendipity. Original page spreads from the magazine and documentary photographs of the artists add interest to this already inspiring and impressive book. Required for all photography collections both as a historical text and as a powerful compilation of images.

Aperture Foundation, New York, 2002