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Walter B. Woodbury
Book cover for Barret Oliver "A History of the Woodburytype" (Carl Mautz Publishing, 2007) ISBN13: 1-887694-28-5
Carl Mautz Vintage Photographs
In 1864 Walter Bentley Woodbury introduced a process for mechanically reproducing photographs that changed forever the way the world looked at images. Aesthetically beautiful, permanent and infinitely reproducible, the Woodburytype was the first process used extensively to photographically illustrate books, journals, museum catalogues, magazines and even campaign materials. More than a century after its heyday the Woodburytype stands as a pinnacle of photographic achievement. This book traces the history of Woodbury's process from the early technology and experiments to its commercial success and domination of the illustration field, and further to attempts to adapt it to industrialized methods, and finally, to its eventual disuse. Also covered is the story of how Woodbury overcame daunting personal odds to bestow this beautiful photographic process upon the world.
Clearly, Barret Oliver's book on the Woodburytype, one of the most beautiful and durable of all photographic processes, and the life of its inventor, is the product of exhaustive research. His extensively illustrated book displays a thorough understanding of a complicated process and its antecedents, of its place in the history of the medium, and of photographic and printing processes in general. A useful guide to identifying Woodburytypes and an extensive bibliography accompany his lucid expositions. Bravo! (Gordon Baldwin, Associate Curator of Photography, J. Paul Getty Museum)
I have had time only to skim through it, but may I say what an impressive volume it is! And the publication itself is beautifully done. Congratulations! (Alan Elliott, Woodbury Scholar)
About the author:
Barret Oliver lives in Los Angeles where he works as a photographer and printer and is known for his use of nineteenth century processes. His print work has been featured in gallery and museum exhibitions, publications and motion pictures. Oliver's research into the Woodburytype grew out of an extensive working knowledge of early photographic technology and his successful experiments in reproducing Woodbury prints."