Monday, August 16, 2010

The Painted Backdrop

Slogging through the dross of daily online auctions, I'm used to being disappointed 99% of the time. Cyber-picking can be a sort of self-flagellation, but when you find a hidden jewel the payoff makes it all worth it. I sort of feel the same way with self-published books. The theory is good, with online sites like Lulu and Blurb giving us all the ability to become published authors. Unfortunately, as I've browsed through the majority of self-published titles available, most are of the "these are my best Aruba shots" photo books that, while sometimes beautiful, leave me a little unfulfilled.

Fortunately there are others, like Jim Linderman, who look at the technology as an opportunity to expose the hidden corners of old (sometimes weird) America. Like Jimmy Allen's seminal book on lynching in America, Linderman has a knack for discovering untold stories and introducing them to a wider audience. His latest book, The Painted Backdrop: Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photography 1860-1920, tells the previously untold story of 19th century painters who painted the backdrops of the then ubiquitous tintype photos. It's an incredibly interesting history and you suddenly find yourself looking for the subject behind the subject.

The Painted Backdrop is one of two of Linderman's books currently in the running for a People's Choice Award in the Photography category of What's great is that for a limited time you'll be able to preview and read the entire books.

The Painted Backdrop Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photography 1860-1920
Click Here to preview the book and vote!

Camera Club Girls Bettie Page and her Friends: The Work of Rudolph Rossi
Click Here to preview the book and vote!

If you like them (which I'm sure you will), make sure to put a vote in before August 20th!


Anonymous said...

joey, you can find jimmy allen new web site and blog at

Joey said...

Ah, thanks for the tip! I didn't know he made that site...