Thursday 22 February 2018

Books: Once upon a time in America

PHOTOS An American Odyssey, Marc Walter, Sabine Arqué Taschen Books; hardcover with fold-outs, 11.4 x 15.6in, €150, 612 pages

Real life: Mulberry St in downtown Manhattan in 1906. Photo: An American Odyssey.
Real life: Mulberry St in downtown Manhattan in 1906. Photo: An American Odyssey.
An American Odyssey

John Spain

A new book of the first colour photographs of the new world shows North America's vast and varied landscape in all its splendourphotos.

What was arriving in America like for our many emigrants more than 100 years ago? New York, as we know, was a teeming, bustling city with tenements full of poverty-stricken new arrivals from Europe desperately trying to gain a foothold in the New World.

Attempts have been made to recreate this world in films, but a new photographic book from the art publishers Taschen now shows what it was like in reality.

The pictures in the book are among the first colour photographs ever taken in America.

The collection, produced for a series of postcards by the Detroit Photographic Company between 1888 and 1924, were recently rediscovered in a private collection.

The pictures show North America's vast and varied landscape in all its splendour, as well as its peoples, from Native Americans and African Americans to European immigrants and the last cowboys.

They stretch from San Francisco's Chinatown and saloons in the Far West to Coney Island and Atlantic City. But it is the pictures from New York that are most stunning, like the one pictured right of Mulberry Street in Manhattan taken in 1906.

The image is so vivid that it looks almost like a scene from a movie. But this is an unposed snapshot of life on Mulberry Street in downtown Manhattan over a century ago.

It was into this extraordinary world that so many of our emigrants took their first tentative steps.

Available with free P&P on www.kennys.ie or by calling 091 709 350

Indo Review

Promoted Links

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment