Sleeping by the Mississippi
Minneapolis: Alec Soth, 2003.
Hardcover (gold-stamped brown cloth with mounted ink-jet print)
11 x 8 ½ inches, 60 pages, 45 color ink-jet illustrations.
Signed and numbered.

This is the second maquette for what became one of the most revered photography books of the first decade of this century. Influenced by his teacher Joel Sternfeld, Soth ventured up and down the route of the Mississippi River, the main artery of the country’s heartbeat. Using a large format-camera, he captured solemn landscapes and everyday people. Soth hints at tales about marginal and disregarded lives, which give both consequence and dignity to their subjects, creating a contemplative book, full of quiet, lyrical, and poignant pictures.

The first maquette was less elegant, being spiral bound with plastic covers. In 2004 the high-end German publisher Steidl issued the book with a slightly different set of images and format, to universal praise. This prototype has original ink-jet prints made by Soth, features the famously misspelled Mississippi on the title page (with an additional “s”), and is signed and numbered by him (two editions of sixty total).

Born in 1969, Alec Soth has remained in his native Minneapolis most of his life and is now a member of the Magnum photo agency. He worked as a darkroom technician and digital specialist at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts from 1996 until he burst on the international photographic scene in 2004. In that year he exhibited at the Whitney and Sâo Paulo Biennials. This maquette and the Steidl edition are included in The Photobook: A History, Volume II (Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, Phaidon, 2006).

Fine condition, obtained directly from the photographer. $7,250 $6500




American (born Russia), 1894-1971
Photographer and designer, revered for his work at Harper’s Bazaar from 1938 to 1958.

Ballet, New York: J. J. Augustin, 1945.
Hardcover, 9 x 11 ¼ inches, 144 pages, halftone illustrations, dustjacket.

This is Brodovitch’s groundbreaking and influential book of photographs of various dance companies performing. The impressionistic images, some gritty, some soft, bleed off the pages and into one another on two-page spreads. A delicate book, due to the absence of a spine board and its thin dustjacket, which is often missing from the spine (not the case here). Dustjacket lightly soiled and edgeworn, missing the inside flaps and small pieces at spine.