biblio-porn

or library smut, whatever.

Libraries by photographer Candida Höfer
Introduction by Umberto Eco
London:Thames and Hudson, 2005
ISBN 0500543143
ISBN-13 978-0500543146
30.0 x 24.5 cm
Hardback, 272pp, £45.00
137 illustrations, 137 in colour

From the Thames and Hudson site:
Candida Höfer’s photographs of libraries are sober and restrained – the atmosphere is disturbed by neither visitors nor users, especially as she forgoes any staging of the locations. The emptiness is imbued with substance by a subtle attention to colour, and the prevailing silence instilled with a metaphysical quality that gives voice to the objects, over and above the eloquence of the furnishings or the pathos of the architecture. This sumptuous volume contains Höfer’s famously ascetic images of the British Library in London, the Escorial in Spain, the Whitney Museum and the Pierpoint Library in New York, the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, the Villa Medici in Rome and the Hamburg University Library, among others. Umberto Eco introduces the collection with a witty reflection on the role of libraries in all our lives. Almost completely devoid of people, as is Höfer’s trademark, these pictures radiate a comforting serenity that is exceptional in contemporary photography.

I may have to buy myself a coffee table just to get this.
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