Edward Brunner: Harry Crosby as Photographer

Of all Crosby’s interests, the one least represented by his biographer Geoffrey Wolff is his work in photography. His photos are mentioned by Wolff only in passing (though with remarks of admiration for their professional skill). But in the page-long list of accomplishments that Wolff imagines Crosby looking forward to in 1929, photography is entirely absent. Yet Crosby’s interest in photography was only deepening and had he lived he would surely have continued exploring the possibilities of this new medium. In 1930, the Black Sun Press released its first volume that was entirely a collection of photography. And last-minute plans for publishing the press’s deluxe edition of The Bridge saw three photographs by a young Walker Evans printed in lieu of the planned frontispiece, a reproduction of an oil painting by Joseph Stella. Finally, issues of Transition, the experimental quarterlyon whose editorial board Crosby served and had helped support financially and which published and edited his writing, also pioneered in printing the early work of photographers who would help define the medium, like Berenice Abbott and Walker Evans. Three of Crosby’s photographs appeared in Transition.

Another three of Crosby’s photographs appeared posthumously in The Hound & Horn in the January-March, 1930 issue (Vol. III, No. 2). They nicely display the range of his interest: a shop window in the manner of Cartier-Bresson, an off-angle snapshot of the exhaust pipes on a racing car, and one of a series of photos taken at the racetrack. The first is a stylized response to the city, the second reveals a skill at devising dramatic angles while the third attests to the readiness of the photographer who must take his pictures in the moment.

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Title Edward Brunner: Harry Crosby as Photographer Type of Content General Poet Criticism
Criticism Author Edward Brunner Criticism Target Harry Crosby
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 09 Jul 2021
Publication Status Original Criticism Publication No Data
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