Dreaming in Black and White Photography at the Julien Levy Gallery Katherine Ware, Peter Barberie

Publication date:
14 Jul 2006
Yale University Press
336 pages: 305 x 254mm
324 color illus.

An exquisite volume celebrating one of America’s premier collections of modern photography

Julien Levy (1906–1981) was one of the most influential proponents of photography and Surrealism during the second quarter of the twentieth century. In his gallery, which operated from 1931 to 1949, Levy hosted the first New York exhibition devoted to Surrealism and presented early solo exhibitions of many photographers now considered iconic in their field, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Clarence John Laughlin, George Platt Lynes, and Lee Miller. He also developed close relationships with artists Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, and Man Ray, among others, and is credited with discovering Joseph Cornell.

This handsome book is published to commemorate the centenary of Levy’s birth and to celebrate the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s major acquisition of more than 2,500 photographs from his collection. With some 300 illustrations, including many unfamiliar works by well-known artists, the catalogue presents a stunning survey of this collection, long hidden from public view. Essays illuminate Levy’s pivotal role in promoting both photography and Surrealism in the United States and his impact as a gallerist and tastemaker at a crucial juncture in the development of photography. The publication also includes illustrations of rich archival material related to Levy’s gallery and collection.

Katherine Ware is Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center, and Peter Barberie is Horace W. Goldsmith Curatorial Fellow in Photography, both at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

"Sure to be of interest to vintage photography buffs is Dreaming in Black and White, the beautifully produced catalog for an exhibition. . . . It commemorates the career and discriminating taste of art patron and dealer Julian Levery, an influential early proponent of modern art?surrealism in particular?and one of the pioneers in establishing photography as fine art. Those he exhibited?including Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, and Lee Miller?are well-represented here in exquisitely defined reproduction, accompanied by a wealth of archival documentary material."?Linda Rosenkrantz, copleynews.com

"An extremely valuable source of information on the American photographic scene in the middle of the 20th century, and on one of its key actors. . . . Highly recommended."?Choice