The Face in the Lens (Paperback)

Anonymous Photographs

By Robert Flynn Johnson, Alexander McCall Smith (Introduction by)

University of California Press, 9780520269828, 208pp.

Publication Date: April 20, 2011

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (5/1/2009)

List Price: 34.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Anonymous photography has a magic all its own. The intriguing images assembled here by collector and curator Robert Flynn Johnson are all mysterious, but their appeal is various. By turns poignant, humorous, erotic, and disturbing, their subject is the human condition. In ten stunning chapters every aspect of human experience—both public and private—is explored. Richly reproduced and with subtle tonalities marking their age, over 220 photographs showcase the work of photographers whose identities have been lost in time. The images are never anything less than mesmerizing and include previously unseen portraits of such stars as Cary Grant, Richard Burton, and Marlene Dietrich. Introduced by Alexander McCall Smith, this follow-up to Johnson's widely acclaimed Anonymous touches on birth, marriage, death, disease, hope, glory, and despair and a plethora of additional emotions, events, and human states, and will capture the imagination of any reader.

Copub: Thames and Hudson

About the Author

Robert Flynn Johnson is Curator Emeritus of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He is the author of many books, including Anonymous: Enigmatic Images from Unknown Photographers. Alexander McCall Smith is the author of over sixty books, including the award-winning No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.

Praise For The Face in the Lens: Anonymous Photographs

“This mounting of photographs taken by now-unknown hands is different, and if you can keep from smiling broadly at several of them, you should loosen up.”

— Booklist

“(Explores) unintentional beauty, one that owes its existence to the nature of the camera itself.”

— Art & Antiques

“Almost without exception (the pictures) are arresting accidents of artistic expression, alive with personality.”

— San Francisco Magazine

“A very eclectic collection of beautiful but strangely intriguing photographs.”

— Roanoke Times