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on 25 October 2009
bought this recently as was going cheap+ had some good reviews: and yes - as a introduction book for anyone curious to have a starter collection of many iconic images of the 20th century - this is a great little book . the book IS small (note only 6"w x 8"h), but is very wide ranging in subject matter+ the worldwide scope of photographers incl. magnum photographers: Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Lartigue, Newton are here as are pioneers of social photo-journalism, russian constructivist: Rodchenko, some "art"/nudes, surrealism, + contemporary greats such as +many iconic images contained therein. there's no index or appendix however for quick reference but the Introduction - Highlights" section is very good givng the reader a concise overview of the history of photography in just over eight pages. hardly detailed but useful as an basic introduction. a total of 92 photographers, not "over 300" as mentioned in another review..

a great inexpensive intro to the world of photography,and a veritable trasure trove of images most of have seen over the years but are collected here with brief biog info of each featured photographer (each give two images here). the book is from the collection of the influential Museuem Ludwig Cologne - so it cannot be entirely comprehensive and some personal faves are not here such as Nan Goldin, Tillmans or or Eggleston but hey for the price...
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on 30 November 2013
Some fantastic photography in here: a few well-known photographers/photographs/subjects and many I'd never come across before but I now love! Excellent descriptions putting photographers and their work in context.

In my experience, you can't beat the quality of Taschen products.

Excellent little book.
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In some respects, this is comparable to Masters of Photography: A Complete Guide to the Greatest Artists of the Photographic Age, although I had ordered it, I returned it as too many of its photographers were unknown and obscure. I ordered this as its replacement.

Published by Taschen, a German publisher of such high esteem that they sometimes publish special 'Art Editions' of individual titles that are as limited in edition numbers as are some prints, 1000-1500 typically, and which may sell at prices of several thousands of Euros per copy and still sell out! You do sometimes need to exercise a little care when ordering their titles as they often produce parallel versions in English and French in addition to the expected German. Whatever the subject or title, you will not be making a serious error of judgement were you to order anything of theirs, whatever its language.

This is a small book, approximately 8x6-inches and with just under 200 pages.

Published in 2001, it is a high-quality publication that highlights about 90 of the most eminent photographers of the Twentieth Century, with each photographer given a two-page spread. The book was in essence a catalogue for a 1996 exhibition held at and by the Museum whose name appears on the cover, about which I have little knowledge other than it is supposedly the foremost of its type in Germany and in some way comparable to that of Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York. All the images are owned or held by the Museum, and may represent a significant proportion of its collection at the time.

In view of the German prominence in the manufacturing side of photography with names such as Agfa, Leitz/Leica, Zeiss, Contax and many others in positions of prestige and eminence plus those of the post-war East Germany with its Pentacon that put good quality, inexpensive cameras in the hands of millions, it is not surprising that the country would host a Museum of Photography. There are several German and German-born photographers such as Steichen and Stieglitz who were and remain of international renown whose artistic rather than technical involvement was no less important or relevant and on a par with their possibly more numerous French counterparts.

Within the confines of the imposed limitations of size, the book cannot be as comprehensive as some may wish and there are therefore some omissions that need not exist (other than by non-representation within the Museum's collection) and some inclusions that may be questioned. However, to be more inclusive, its size, bulk and cover price would need to increase. I know of most of those photographers included, some more so than others but, as the book originated in Germany, it is possible that some of the less familiar may be better known in that country and those surrounding it than in the UK. I cannot therefore substantially dispute its contents. In any event, I cannot know the full scope of the museum's collection.

Most of the obvious candidates such as Ansell Adams, Cartier-Bresson, and Paul Strand are here, as are many more. Each of the segments, arranged alphabetically by surname, occupies a double-page spread with two or more images and a potted biography in each instance. No one photographer is therefore given any greater preference or precedence than any other. There is no index, nor is one needed by virtue of its sequencing.

As with all Taschen books, its printing is of superb quality and although its size is an obvious limiting factor in being able to show its images to best advantage, there are none too small to be acceptable.

If you can find a copy, and they can still be found, I would suggest that it be considered. As indicated above, there are other titles that appear to offer alternative collections of 'The Best', 'Greatest' or whatever else, but of those seen this is probably the best and least contentious. Consider it as a reference source and it may lead you to books which more comprehensively explore the subject photographers' work. For some there will be several alternative titles from which to choose, for others only one, but none at all for others. Such is the nature of photography.
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on 30 October 2001
Photography of the 20th Century is a good book to have because it offers a wide range of artists as well as giving some info about techniques and about the artist. There could have been more pictures, and biographys but it is reasonable for the price and size. I like the selection of pictures and the different types of artists from fashion to WWII action photos. Its has a little of everything.
I would not however recommend this book for young children for it does have quite a bit of nudity in it.
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on 14 December 2008
A beautifully produced, encyclopedic photo-book on the history of twentieth century photography. Almost 300 of the century's most influential and relevant photographers are featured in alphabetical order with examples of their work to go along with each biography. Some of those featured are Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lucien Clergue, Harold Edgerton, Alfred Eisenstadt, Peter H. Furst, Phillippe Halsman, Heinz Held, Fritz Henle, David Octavius Hill, Horst P. Horst, Walde Huth, Alfred Cheney Johnston, Yousuf Karsh, Dorothea Lange, Angus McBean, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Man Ray, Bettina Rheims, August Sander, Karl Hugo Schmolz, Edward Streichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston, and of course, many, many others.

20th Century Photography is a scholarly masterpiece and is a superb representation of the Museum Ludwig Cologne which reputedly has over 9,000 photographs in it collection. It features many nudes and figure studies as well as many other genres of photography. It is an excellent collection and a very worthwhile addition to one's personal library.
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on 9 October 2014
Smaller than I thought, but it's a great little book. Perfect for referencing.
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on 1 October 2014
love this book. anyone into photography this is a must have
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on 7 July 2015
You can always rely on Taschen to produce a quality book.
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on 1 June 2015
As you would expect
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on 30 March 2010
Got lots of information from this book for an essay. I got prompt service from this seller and would recommend the book and seller!!
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