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New York: Penguin Books, 1978. First edition of New York street photographer Bill Cunningham's only book, a collaboration with the artist Editta Sherman, the "Duchess of Carnegie Hall." Cunningham and Sherman lived and worked side by side in the artist studios above Carnegie Hall, and shared a passion for vintage clothing. Between 1968 and 1976, Cunningham took thousands of photographs of Sherman in period costume, featuring Manhattan architecture of each era as the backdrop: an Empire-waisted muslin gown paired with City Hall (1802-1811), a Victorian hoop skirt with Cooper Union (1859), a pleated Fortuny gown with the Stock Exchange (1903), a modernistic domed hat with the Guggenheim Museum (1959). Cunningham scouted locations by bicycle, and Sherman arrived by bus or subway, so as not to wrinkle the clothes: "proceeding in their unusual manner, Bill and the Duchess have by-passed the strict decorum and posture of period photography and documentation for a more playful animation." Whimsical as the photographs are, Cunningham's keen attention to detail gives the collection real historical value; Façades dates from the same era as the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, created in response to the casual destruction of Penn Station. Cunningham's original photographs for Façades were first exhibited in 1977 at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and are now housed at the New-York Historical Society. A near-fine copy, inscribed by Editta Sherman at the age of 100. Large octavo, 128 pp., original metallic photographic wrappers printed in red and blue. Black-and-white photographs on every page. Inscribed on front free endpaper: "Sept 20 _ 12 / With Best Wishes / Editta Sherman." Lightest edgewear, small bump to head of spine.
      [Bookseller: Honey & Wax Booksellers]
Last Found On: 2016-11-28           Check availability:      Biblio    


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