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1952 Cartier Bresson, Matisse, Library Misfeasance


A copy of one of the crucial books needed in a fine arts library—Cartier Bresson’s 1952, The Decisive Moment.  Received when it was published, the SFAI Library’s rare copy is completely banged up and discolored:  a call number pasted on the corner, obscuring TEXT!, ORANGE sticky book tape swallowing up part of the Henri Matisse cover!  And yet….this very much mangled and handled copy of this famous photo book has probably been perused by more well-known photographers than any other copy of The Decisive Moment  in existence! Riddled with fascinating photographers’ fingerprints.  And none of these artists really cared that it was in such condition!


With permission, SFAA is re-posting the emails Jeff Gunderson Librarian/Archivist Anne Bremer Memorial Library has been sending out since March 2020. Please enjoy this magnificent archive.

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SF Artists Alumni Inc., San Francisco, CA 94131