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The Logan Collection Highlights & Shadows: Books on Photography from the Reva and David Logan Collection

The Collection

The Logan Collection is comprised of over 1,500 books and periodicals about photography in all its forms, including the centerpiece of the collection, a high-quality, full run of Alfred Stieglitz's seminal photography journal Camera Work (1903-1917). Amassed over several decades by David Logan, the Collection is particularly strong in those areas of most interest to him: Stieglitz and his circle, including Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, and others; American and European Modernists, including seminal works by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Man Ray, Brassai, Andre Kertesz, and others; documentary photography and photojournalism in the United States and Europe; and portraiture by such masters as Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Yousuf Karsh. Certain photographers are represented in great depth, with both well-known and lesser titles, including Adams, Weston, Margaret Bourke-White, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Danny Lyons, and others. Many of these books are first editions, signed by the artists themselves.

Though particularly strong in the twentieth century, Logan was just as interested in the early history of the medium. He acquired rare, mint-condition editions by some of photography's earliest practitioners, including Thomas Annan, Peter Henry Emerson, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Eadweard Muybridge. 

Before the proliferation of photography schools in the late twentieth-century, photographers learned their craft from other photographers and 'how-to' books. David Logan collected dozens of rare and understudied manuals on photography, with texts explaining the developing process, varieties of printing processes, aspects of color photography, how to make enlargements, tips for portraiture, and so on.

Early photography books often contained actual photographs, or high-quality photogravures, rather than reproductions. Due to the high costs associated with 'tipping in' actual photographs or crafting high-quality photogravures, copies of these titles are scarce. The Logan Collection has several of these, from two versions of Thomas Annan's well-known The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow (1878 and 1900) and Peter Henry Emerson's stunning Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads (1886) to such rare gems as Thomas Babington Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome (1851) or Paul Delaroche's Album (ca. 1855).

Periodicals form another strength of the Collection, which includes over 50 serials and journals. These range from long runs of well-known photographic magazines such as Aperture and U.S. Camera to scarce journals such as Photo Notes and Minority Photographer's Newsletter. There are also smaller, artier publications like Eros or Grain that only lasted a year or two.

Approximately 30% of the books and journals Logan collected are entirely new to the Bancroft and Berkeley as a whole.

Logan bookshelf postcard