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CULTURE
Who Shot Rock 'n' Roll: A Photographic History, 1955–Present
by Tamara Warren
on 17 September 2009
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Long a critical part in spreading the look, attitude and emotion of a burgeoning culture to the masses, the new book "Who Shot Rock 'n' Roll" helps define rock photography as a genre of it’s own. Historian and author Gail Buckland captures the depth and breadth of the field’s most talented purveyors in her twelfth book of photographic examination, which Knopf will release 22 October 2009 (above photo by Peter Beste).

Descriptive, insightful captions accompany over 250 portraits, concert shots, intimate back stage moments and studio sessions, told from the photographer's perspective. Through the lens of Maripol’s polaroids of Madonna, Henry Diltz’s magnetic Tina Turner portraiture and Roberta Bayley’s intimate impressions of the New York punk scene, read this way, the subjects take their place as part of a kinetic cultural continuum.

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The collection includes colorful, as well as black and white work, of dozens of photographers, from Richard Avedon to Annie Leibowitz and Chris Stein.

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Those among the diverse and ambitious number of recording artists covered, span Michael Jackson (see an amazing Muybridge-esque image after the jump), Sonic Youth, Mick Jagger, Madonna, The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Bjork, Blondie, James Brown, Johnny Cash, Notorious B.I.G., U2, Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa and Grace Jones (pictured above, shot by David Corio). Buckingham, a former curator of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, succeeds in pushing the particular of a dynamic movement in its most reflective state. As Buckland writes, “Rock and roll is not a musical genre; it is a communal spirit.”

The Brooklyn Museum will launch an accompanying exhibition that opens 30 October 2009 and tours the United States through 2011, with further showings at the Worcester Art Museum, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Akron Art Museum and the Columbia Museum of Art.

See more images after the jump.

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