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The Book of Shadows

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present The Book of Shadows, on view from May 31st through August 11th, 2007.

A meditation on the nature of photography itself, The Book of Shadows brings together eighty-eight anonymous photographs spanning the twentieth century, drawn from the private collection of Jeffrey Fraenkel.  Each of these varied photographs shares the common element of the photographer’s shadow falling into the image.  Though most often a “mistake,” the shadows communicate a great deal about the person making the picture.

This exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated hardcover catalog, The Book of Shadows, designed by Katy Homans, and printed by the master craftsmen at Trifolio in Verona, Italy.  Edited and with an introduction by Fraenkel, and selected from a collection of more than 2,000 prints, the volume represents “the most tenacious, obstinate, and downright sublime of the crop.”  The book includes an astonishing short story, “The Man Who Lost His Shadow,” written in 1813 by Louis Adelbert von Chamisso.

The original prints from The Book of Shadows will be installed in the photography galleries of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2008.

The Book of Shadows can be seen concurrently with Several Exceptionally Good Recently Acquired Photographs XIX.