Monday, November 17, 2008

Henri Cartier-Bresson: A Biography by Pierre Assouline

Bonnie and I went to the Art Institute of Chicago this weekend to see a fantastic exhibit of European tapestries that the museum has been restoring for nearly two decades. While we were there, we went down to the photography galleries to see an exhibit of Henri Cartier-Bresson photographs. It was actually a little disappointing, as there were only a few photos there. One of those was of a bicyclist going past a spiral staircase, which made me think of Aaron Schmidt and his love of bicycles.

In the gift shop, we found stacks of books to go with all the exhibits, including Henri Cartier-Bresson: A Biography by Pierre Assouline, a book that is included in my forthcoming guide to biography Real Lives Revealed. Assouline recounts the Cartier-Bresson's development from a painter to a photographer who made very composed, artist images and then to a photojournalist who was dedicated to showing the world as it really was. During the middle part of the twentieth century, at a time when photography was not so easy to share as it is today, he was often a witness with a camera, showing newspaper and magazine readers what was happening in distant corners of the globe. The book has been out a few years, but is still a good acquisition if your library has readers interested in photography, art, or twentieth century events.

Assouline, Pierre. Henri Cartier-Bresson: A Biography. Thames & Hudson, 2005. 280p. ISBN 9780500512234.

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