The Polaroid Book: Selection from the Polaroid Collections of Photography, edited by Steve Crist, essay by Barbara Hitchcock. Hardcover book published by Taschen 2011, 351 pages with colour and black and white photographs throughout.
In existence for over 50 years, the Polaroid Corporation’s photography collection is the greatest collection of Polaroid images in the world. Begun by Polaroid founder Edwin Land and photographer Ansel Adams, the collection now includes images by hundreds of photographers throughout the world and contains important pieces by artists such as David Hockney, Helmut Newton, Jeanloup Sieff, and Robert Rauschenberg. The Polaroid Book, a survey of this remarkable collection, pays tribute to a medium that defies the digital age and remains a favorite among artists for its quirky look and instantly gratifying, one-of-a-kind images.
Those people at Taschen sure know how to slap an interesting book together... or is it the people who have convinced Taschen to publish this book that know how to put a book of interest together? Either way, Taschen have published it and I think it's a job well done. I didn't realise that the Polaroid Corporation even had a collection, which is I guess why this book exists.
I've never owned a Polaroid. My mother had one back in the 70s and I remember it was a great novelty at the time and there are a bunch of Polaroid photos from a family Christmas gathering. After that I don't remember her using it all that often and then after a few years she didn't use it at all. Whatever happened to that camera and the photos? Fortunately for anyone having a peak at this book, my 1970s family Christmas photos didn't make the selection, unlike Andy Warhol who is in the book but a long way away from Christmas.
Photography and art fans, will love this book. I love this book. There's something about the instant photograph, which is slower than my phone, that is quite appealing. I think it has to do with an understanding that there was (is?) an immediacy about these pictures. It was something you snapped and then looked at a few minutes later without the benefit of photoshop to enhance and without an option to do copies*. These were one-of-a-kind pictures not designed to be shared around... unless of course they ended up in this book.
* I think you could do copies but it wasn't easy... I could be wrong.