Magnum Founders: In Celebration of 60 Years
Verso Editions, 2007
BAT (Bon a Tirer) Presentation Copy to Stan Klimek
Twelve Original Hand Printed Platinum Prints
Four Free-standing Platinum Prints
Signed by 55 Magnum Photographers
History: In 2009, fine press photography book publisher Verso Limited Editions released Magnum Founders: In celebration of 60 Years: Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, and David Seymor. Limited to 75 copies worldwide, the hand-bound collection contains sixteen original platinum prints (twelve bound prints – three from each photographer - and four free-standing that are suitable for framing – 2 by Henri Cartier-Bresson and one each from Robert Capa and George Rodger). Each print is estate stamped and designated as the BAT with the Henri Cartier-Bresson signed in full on the recto by Martine Franck, the widow of Henri Cartier-Bresson. This is the only copy signed by Martine Franck. The Cartier-Bresson stand alone prints were not included in the offering. These prints were presented to Stan Klimek, the platinum printmaker of the edition by the publisher after the edition was released. The Cartier-Bresson prints in Magnum Founders as well as the two free standing prints are the only authorized prints from the Cartier-Bresson estate issued since his death in 2004.
About BAT (Bon a Tirer): BAT is a French acronym for Bon a Tirer (good to pull) a term that is used in the time honored print making tradition. The BAT is created by the Master Printer through the proofing process in collaboration with the artist or estate. Once the artist is satisfied with the print he will sign on the print “BAT” with his signature or if there was an estate it will be blind stamped. Once all of the BAT’s are signed these BAT’s become the reference prints for the edition to match. When the printer is finished printing the edition, the BAT’s and the completed prints are sent to the artist whereupon the artist will examine each print and compare it to the BAT before signing. The BAT is unique in that it is the genesis of the limited edition through the discovery of the printmaking process with the artist/printer collaboration. There is only one BAT created and it is gifted to the printer from the artist as a time honored way of thanking the printer.
Verso Limited Editions presented this BAT to Stan Klimek upon completion of the project. A Letter of Provenance from Stan Klimek is included with this edition.
Awards: In 2008, POYI (Photographs of the Year International) conferred the first "Distinguished Leadership in Photojournalism Award" in recognition of "Magnum Founders: In Celebration of 60 Years" and the member photographers who have guided the development of photojournalism since the founding of Magnum. The distinction honors the publishing house of Verso Limited Editions, the photo agency of Magnum Photos, and the preeminent photojournalists Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, and David Seymour.
Details of the Book and Prints: Commissioned by Magnum Photos, the book was published in cooperation with the estates of the four photographers and contains a foreword by Elliott Erwitt, renowned photographer and past president of Magnum Photos. The book and prints measure 14” x 16” (portrait). All images in Magnum Founders were hand printed in platinum by Stan Klimek on Fabriano Artistico, a traditional 100% cotton watercolor paper. Each print is then individually stamped by the photographer’s estate with the Cartier-Bresson prints signed by Martine Franck on the BAT copy. The text of Magnum Founders is composed in Walbaum and Helvetica Neue by the Press & Letterfoundry of Michael & Winifred Bixler. It is printed on 100% cotton Hahnemühle Photo Rag by Michael Russem at Kat Ran Press. Each book is hand-bound in quarter-leather by Mark Tomlinson featuring distinctive red Japanese crepe endsheets, red leather endbands and a unique cover construction of black and red laminated paper boards. Designed by Skolkin + Chickey, the collection is encased in an English buckram clamshell and presented in a custom-crafted walnut box suitable for display.
Each handcrafted book presents some of the most defining images of each photographer’s oeuvre. Robert Capa earned the title “The Greatest War Photographer in the World” after his photographs of the Spanish Civil War. The book features Capa’s famous “Falling Soldier” image taken in 1936 on the Córdoba front during this conflict, as well as his World War II photograph documenting the first moments of the Americans landing on Omaha Beach. Cartier-Bresson was fascinated with painting, and particularly interested in surrealism. The prints in Magnum Founders include his playfully subversive group portrait of Valencian entertainers taken in 1933, as well as a stunning view of Muslim women on the slopes of Hari Parbal Hill, praying toward the sun rising behind the Himalayas. George Rodger’s pictures of the London Blitz brought him to the attention of Life magazine, and from 1939 to 1945 he was one of the magazine’s war correspondents. The book includes one of his London Blitz photographs of a young boy wearing his tin helmet with pride. The collection also features two photographs from Rodger’s work in Africa where he spent decades documenting tribal life. Known for his compassionate treatment of his subjects, David “Chim” Seymour photographed children particularly well. Magnum Founders features a 1948 portrait of a young Polish orphan who was traumatized by her experiences in German concentration camps making a troubled attempt to draw a picture of her home.
The book has been signed by the 55 current Magnum Photographers.
Details of the Free Standing Prints: There are four free standing prints that measure 14” x 16” and are suitable for framing. The edition was issued with two prints and as mentioned previously the two Cartier-Bresson prints are unique to this BAT edition. The Cartier-Bresson prints have been matted using museum quality materials and are not housed in the custom made walnut case. The free-standing prints are:
Robert Capa - Picasso and Françoise Gilot, 1948. Estate stamped on the verso.
George Rodger – Masai Moran Ceremony, Kenya 1979. Estate stamped on verso.
Henri Cartier-Bresson – Alicante, Spain, 1932. Signed and designated BAT on recto by Glen Serbin, publisher of Verso Limited Editions.
Henri Cartier-Bresson – Kashmir, 1948. Signed and designated BAT on recto by Glen Serbin, publisher of Verso Limited Editions.
Condition: The book, free standing prints and custom crafted walnut box are all in FINE condition.
Photographs of portfolio case, the free standing platinum prints, the Letter of Provenance, signature page of the Magnum photographers, and several examples of platinum prints contained in the book appear in the photo section of the listing.