Books to read during autumn

11 March 2019

Three recently published books can inspire readers during the lengthening autumn evenings.

  1. Constance: One Road to Take – The Life and Photography of Constance Stuart Larrabee (1914-2000) by Peter Elliot, published independently
  2. Walter Gropius: Visionary Founder of the Bauhaus by Fiona MacCarthy and published by Faber
  3. Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett and published by Allen Lane

Constance: One Road to Take – The Life and Photography of Constance Stuart Larrabee (1914-2000) by Peter Elliot, published independently

This book, published at the end of 2018, is the first comprehensive book on Constance Stuart Larrabee’s life and work and may well become a photographic collector’s item. Constance, who was born in England, grew up in South Africa after her parents’ immigration. After school she studied photography in England and returned to South Africa in 1936 for a period of time and again for a visit at a later stage in her life. Her South African photography documented the lives of especially black women and children, while she is also known for photography done in war-torn France and Italy, as well as in the United States. In South Africa she preceded David Goldblatt and her work is also compared to that of her peer, United States photographer Margaret Bourke White. This well-researched biography also includes more than 80 photographs that demonstrate Constance’s sophisticated skill and vision as photographer.

Old photo of Constance Stuart Larrabee

 

Walter Gropius: Visionary Founder of the Bauhaus by Fiona MacCarthy and published by Faber

The centenary of the Bauhaus is commemorated in 2019 and several books on this famous architectural movement of the twentieth century are appearing in bookstores. With this comprehensive biography of its founder, Walter Gropius, author Fiona MacCarthy was able to combine Gropius’ remarkable contributions to architecture, design and art with intriguing detail about his personal life.

Walter Gropius in front of a house designed by him

 

Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett and published by Allen Lane

Author Richard Sennet explores the dynamic qualities within the relationship between the ville or thephysical built city environment on the one hand, versus the cité or the actual life experience on the other. In doing so, he speculates whether it is possible to plan and construct city environments that can facilitate positive life experiences.  Sennett furthermore points at the importance of being able to manage complexity within a city.

 

 

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