The Photographer's Eye by John Szarkowski is a 20th-century classic and an indispensable introduction to the visual language of photography.
Based on a landmark exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in 1964, and originally published in 1966, the book has long been out of print. It is now available again to a new generation of photographers and lovers of photography in this duotone printing that closely follows the original.
Szarkowski's compact text eloquently complements skillfully selected and sequenced groupings of 172 photographs drawn from the entire history and range of the medium. Celebrated works by such masters as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, and Edward Weston are juxtaposed with vernacular documents and even amateur snapshots to analyze the fundamental challenges and opportunities that all photographers have faced.
Szarkowski, the legendary curator who worked at the Museum from 1962 to 1991, has published many influential books. But none more radically and succinctly demonstrates why--as U.S. News & World Report put it in 1990--"whether Americans know it or not," his thinking about photography "has become our thinking about photography."