Snapshots, passenger lists, itineraries, and postcards from San Francisco flapper Vera Talbot's Far East adventure. Chicagoan Clara E. Whitcomb's travel diary containing pages filled with souvenir photos, maps, and a list of titles for a future book about her travels in Egypt. These are only two of the narratives that unfold in the beautifully designed pages of Around the World. From Cairo to Burma and back again, authors Barbara Levine and Kirsten Jensen transport readers back to the dawn of world travel when, Brownie cameras in tow, the middle class toured the world for the first time and painstakingly documented their discoveries within scrapbooks, diary entries, and pasted-on souvenir postcards.
Around the World traces the development of the travel photo album, from primarily narrative forms--ships' logs and diaries--into rich multimedia objects of sublime beauty. The book features a wealth of turn-of-the-twentieth-century photographs and ephemera such as passports, ship menus, calling cards, and newspaper clippings. Around the World evokes the pleasures of a time when the surroundings were taken in slowly and travel was an art in and of itself.
Barbara Levine runs Project b, a curatorial services and project management company, and is a distinguished collector of antique dexterity puzzles and vintage photograph albums. She was formerly Director of Exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Deputy Director of the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Levine has curated a diverse group of museum and library exhibitions including Snapshot Chronicles, the first-ever on vernacular vintage photograph albums and In The Palm of Your Hand: Dexterity Games 1880-1960. She is the author of Snapshot Chronicles: Inventing the American Photo Album (Princeton Architectural Press, 2005).
Kirsten M. Jensen has a PhD in art history from the City University of New York. Her most recent book is Picturing Arizona: The Photographic Record of the 1930s (University of Arizona Press, 2005).
The Gift of Inspiration , New York Sun:
"A handsome volume of a specific category of found photographs. ...There is a sense of adventure about these extended voyages to exotic locales.
Found photographs not only raise critical questions about the intentions of the makers of the photographs, but about the experiences of the viewers as well."
— William Meyers
"1880 to 1930... The travelers archived these expeditions with not only photographs and text, but also will collecte ephemera - maps, advertisments, news clippings, hotel receipts, menus, postage stamps, ship activity programs - that can be seen as adding another demension to their memoirs."
— Kristina Dunoski
Photo album book is a bittersweet pleasure, Flint Journal:
"...I always get a little frission of saddness when I see an old photograph album for sale in an antique store. There are somebodys snapshots of Aunt Tilie and Uncle Max, there the beloved parents, there the baby pictures of the little sister. What the presence of that album in the antique store says is, All these people are dead. No one wanted to remember them.
Which is only a peripheral way of saying that Around the World: The Grand Tour in Photo Albums (Princeton) carries a certain residual melancholy along with the intrest that comes from seeing the world in a time - 1880 to 1929 - when getting to Europe or Africa was a good deal hardeer than it is now.
aside from being fascinating for all thhe obvious reasons, The Grand Tour is also poignant."
— Scott Eyman
"Flipping through Around the World: The Grand Tour in Photo Albums (Princeton Architectural Press,...) your wanderlust may become more ambitious - or maybe youll resolve to document your travels."
— Elizabeth McCann
"fascinating for all the obvious reasons"
"Many photos are intriguing as historical documents...avid travelers who might enjoy placing their own photo albums in historical context will be charmed by this compilation."
"Page after page of vintage photography and lettering, this is an astounding book like no other, drawing us back in time to a world before digital cameras and photography, when each journey and voyage was recorded by hand...I'm having so much fun looking at each page--this is armchair traveling at its best."
New York Sun:
"...a handsome volume ...There is a sense of adventure about these extended voyages to exotic locales."
"This painstakingly assembled collection gathers excerpts from the personal journals and photo albums of turn-of-the-century, middle-class American travelers to Europe, East Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
...they vividly illustrate daily life in exotic locales - Siam, Cambodia, and Trinidad."