NYC Launch & Book Reviews

Published on Thursday 30 April 2015

The party in New York given for our book could not have been more successful, being set in the beautiful library of the Lotos Club. We have also been very fortunate thus far with reviews:

‘one of the most important works on Ruskin to have been published in the last few decades.’

‘As well as being a formidable work of scholarship, this book haunts the imagination.’

‘… the enormous cultural service the Jacobsons have done photographic history, first by taking a risk [at auction] on that unpromising mahogany box [enclosing the daguerreotypes], and then by restoring and curating its contents so carefully and suggestively.’

Marcus Waithe
Apollo May 2015

‘Here are pictures that are not accounted for in the canons of art history and Ruskin’s place within it …’

‘Outdoor daguerreotypes are quite rare in any case. … Yet here are views half-way up mountains near Chamonix, with the nose of the camera pressed into the rock. Here are plunging views over Fribourg so steep as to be almost aerial perspectives on the town below. Here’s washing hanging from a line in a way that we can no longer call unRuskinian. Here are contre-jour studies through the dark arches of a Venetian façade which — were they not on the lovely metal surfaces of the daguerreotype — could have come from modernist studies of architecture of the 1930s …’

‘The Jacobsons’ study is written in an engaging style, yet this readability should not be mistaken for the absence of scholarly achievement. A selection of these remarkable pictures should be exhibited in one of the national spaces. They are unfashionable, and small, and made by a critic whose importance people tend now to acknowledge without taking the trouble to read him. They are also brilliantly exciting, and contribute something sharply new to what we know about Ruskin.’

Francis Hodgson
Financial Times 24 March 2015

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