Portraits In Sepia

by Alex Novak


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A NEW BOOK that is a must for your library if you collect Japanese photographs (or even if you don't, but admire them) is Portraits in Sepia by Torin Boyd and Naomi Izakura

This book is ostensively about the Japanese carte-de-visite, but what it really covers better than any other previous book is the entire photographic history as it relates to Japan.  This 328-page bilingual (Japanese and English) publication is the most comprehensive listing of Japan's foreign and domestic photographers ever compiled.  The extensive biographical notes (over 1,150 photographers covered) include dates of operation, studio addresses, formats used, birth and death dates and much other important biographical information.

There is also a great guide for dating Japanese carte-de-visites; and a good foldout chart for identifying 19th-century processes. In addition over 200 images are included from Torin and Naomi's collections.

This is a MUST book for any photo historian, museum or collector. I cannot recommend it enough. The price is $75 and it is available from Carl Mautz Publishing at 530-478-1610. You can email Carl at cmautz@nccn.net . He is the American distributor.

Novak has over 42 years experience in the photography-collecting arena. He is a long-time member and formally board member of the Daguerreian Society, and, when it was still functioning, he was a member of the American Historical Photographic Society. He organized the 2016 19th-century Photography Show and Conference for the Daguerreian Society. He is also a long-time member of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers. Novak has been a member of the board of the nonprofit Photo Review, which publishes both the Photo Review and the Photograph Collector, and is currently on the Photo Review's advisory board. He was a founding member of the Getty Museum Photography Council. He is author of French 19th-Century Master Photographers: Life into Art.

Novak has had photography articles and columns published in several newspapers, the American Photographic Historical Society newsletter, the Photograph Collector and the Daguerreian Society newsletter. He writes and publishes the E-Photo Newsletter, the largest circulation newsletter in the field. Novak is also president and owner of Contemporary Works/Vintage Works, a private photography dealer, which sells by appointment and at exhibit shows, such as AIPAD New York and Miami, Art Chicago, Classic Photography LA, Photo LA, Paris Photo, The 19th-century Photography Show, etc.