Odysseys and Photographs

Four National Geographic Field Men

By Leah Bendavid-Val; Gilbert M. Grosvenor; Mark Collins Jenkins; Viola Kiesinger Wentzel
(Focal Point, Hardcover, 9781426201721, 224pp.)

Publication Date: November 11, 2008

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Description

Spanning almost a century of global upheaval and riveting human drama, this magnificent book follows the careers of Maynard Owen Williams, Volkmar Wentzel, Luis Marden, and Tom Abercrombie—a stellar quartet of National Geographic photographers who used their cameras to record a truly remarkable era.

While the lensmen were all supported and nurtured both technically and creatively by the Geographic, each had his own interests and his own distinctive style—and each made his own unique contribution to world culture, science, and history. Following a thoughtful introduction that sets the scene, the book is divided into four parts, each devoted to one man’s life and work. Chapters open with an essay and then display up to 50 pages of breathtaking historic images, many of which lay hidden in National Geographic archives for decades. Close associates and loved ones authored each photographer’s intimate story, calling on journals, anecdotes, and behind-the-scenes correspondence to portray the real person behind the lens. Our four subjects, taken together, represent the entire and quite glamorous progression of National Geographic photography—a chronicle that will be eagerly embraced by all who love world history, biography, and great pictures.

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