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Views on the Mississippi: The Photography of Henry Peter Bosse: The Photographs of Henry Peter Bosse (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Oktober 2002

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2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A must buy for any "River Rat" 15. November 2001
Von Craig Fenton - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Mark Neuzil and Merry Foresta have brought back to life with this book a Mississippi River that has long since disappeared below the brackish water of the Big Muddy. Henry Peter Bosse captured on film the Mississippi River that Mark Twain navigated as a river boat captain, the Mormans had to traverse leaving Nauvoo, IL for points west and that Lewis and Clark travelled on the way to the west coast. He did this at a time just before it disappeared below the backwaters of today's lock and dam system. Bosse's photographs, while valued at over $1,000,000 are priceless to those of us that have looked out over the river as it exists today and wondered "What lies below the surface of that water?" or "What did the river look like before the lock and dams were built"
If you have ever lived on or loved "The River" this book is a must buy!
4 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Mike Conner - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Henry Peter Bosse's exquisite photographs of the Upper Mississippi River, taken between 1883 and 1893, are little known today owing to their great scarcity. Fewer than two hundred of his images have ever reached the open market, and there has yet to be a major museum exhibition of his work. Despite this, Bosse's large cyanotypes currently sell in the twenty thousand dollar range and are much sought after by museums and discerning photo collectors. A first rate book on his career and images has been needed for over a decade.
Sadly, that need has yet to be fulfilled. Mark Neuzil's decidedly poor offering contributes only badly reproduced photographs and a text that, while eminently readable, is overshadowed by glaring inaccuracies.
Early on, Neuzil opines that Bosse "...was tutored in Greek and Latin and completed classical studies at Magdeburg (Germany) where he added courses in engineering and art..." (pg.7). But in the next sentence he notes, "There was no university at Magdeburg at the time...", and cites a sole obituary as a basis for his "facts" regarding Bosse's education. Since Neuzil also notes that there are no known historical documents pertaining to Bosse prior to his arrival in the U.S. this attribution seems something of a stretch.
On the next page he names Montgomery Meigs, U.S. Civil Engineer, as a possible photography tutor to Bosse, citing Meigs' experience with a camera and his own cyanotypes. A little rudimentary research on the author's part would have revealed that all of Meigs' known photos date from AFTER 1893, by which time Bosse had apparently stopped taking pictures.
Two paragraphs on, Neuzil emphatically states that, "In the floating office that was the BARNARD (a Corps riverboat) Bosse possibly enjoyed the company of Mark Twain...(because)...Some of the author's river travel in 1882 came via the BARNARD, a friend of Twain's."
This must come as a huge surprise to Twain scholars. The author's 1882 Mississippi River trip was fully chronicled by the popular press of the day and neither they nor any Twain historian since ever stumbled across this piece of information. Neuzil offers no source for the tidbit, and actually can't do so - for the simple reason that it never happened!
The author also claims that in 1878 Bosse began work for the Rock Island Engineer Office, "...where he was employed as chief draftsman until his death in 1903." However, Mary Forresta's introduction to Neuzil's book states (correctly) that F.S. Eastman was chief draftsman at Rock Island when Bosse arrived. Indeed, Bosse only achieved that position after Eastman left the job some years later.
An author's perceived veracity is of paramount interest to the reader, particularly when that author is writing history or offering himself as an expert on the subject at hand. The errors mentioned here occur IN THE FIRST TEN PAGES and only the need for brevity prohibits pointing to more. Add to the mix a collection of images that, while fascinating, are still bland and tepid versions of Bosse's originals and you have VIEWS ON THE MISSISSIPPI.
That said, buy it anyway. Henry Bosse's photographs deserve far wider circulation than they have achieved, which is a pity. His images offer us an intimate glimpse of Mark Twain's Mississippi River, up close and personal - or at least closer than anyone else of the period. If you enjoy Mark Twain and/or the Mississippi you'll enjoy Bosse's photos - but take the attached history with substantially more than a pinch of salt. Actually, take it with a great honkin' truck load.
Mike Conner
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