History in the making: Max lincoln schuster's eyes on the world

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In her essay 'Good Fences Make Good Neighbors,' Sally Stein frames American photomontage between the wars as a marginal and tentative practice, offset by a small number of books from the early 1930s. Stein cites Simon and Schuster's 1935 publication Eyes on the World as one such anomaly. However, closer consideration of Eyes on the World reveals 296 pages of graphically dense photomontage, featuring photographs, film stills, newspaper clippings, charts, graphs, and cartoons culled from over 150 credited sources and reproduced as a series of intricately assembled full-bleed spreads. In a publisher's note on the last page, Schuster hints that, if successful, the book might go serial on an annual basis, and earlier production notes from Columbia's archive reveal his plans for a second edition, translated editions, subsequent special editions, and newspaper syndication. If photomontage never rooted in the United States as a literal artistic practice, Eyes on the World suggests that its spirit charged the air in other ways. My goal here is to position Schuster's book as the conscious reformulation of a very real montage aesthetic pervasive in American culture at the time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEtudes Photographiques
Issue number28
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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