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A Literary Magazine For Photographers Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

7 March 2014

We've been a subscriber for ages (well, 1996, which was in the last century) but only recently did it dawn on us that the quality of writing in The Threepenny Review is only one of its attributes. Every issue also happens to be quite a showcase for black and white photography.

Spring 2014 Issue. Featuring Julia Margaret Cameron.

The current Spring 2014 issue of the quarterly publication, for example, has a dozen images by Julia Margaret Cameron. The previous issue featured Morris Engel. Adolf Fassbender, Robert Adams, Garry Winogrand and Saul Leiter were featured in 2013. The online gallery lists all the others.

You may recognize a few of those names from our Saturday Matinee series. But Editor and Publisher Wendy Lesser, who has been putting this thing out since PageMaker was all the rage, isn't limited to video productions.

She usually taps into the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's photography collection but her other sources, which include other museums and galleries, are just as distinguished.


Each issue includes A Note on the Artworks, in which she writes about the photographer appearing in that issue. And in an accompanying Photo Credits column, she collects the caption and credit information for each image.

In the current issue, for example, A Note on the Artworks explains that the images by Julia Margaret Cameron have been reproduced from an exhibit that just closed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In Photo Credits we learn the cover image seen in our photo above is Pomona from 1872, an albumen silver print from the glass negative.

The reproductions are first rate, printed on the heavy white book stock the publication uses, with scans often provided by the museums and galleries contributing the work.

Each photo appears unencumbered by either caption or credit and in a generous size on the tabloid-sized pages. The photo itself is surrounded by the text of an often remarkably relevant story, much as if it is an illustration. Lesser's pairing of images and text is itself a work of art.


The cover price is $7 with back issues going for $12 each or $7 for downloads but you can do a lot better as a subscriber. The current inducement is five issues for $25 ($5 each for the math challenged). Considering just the images Lesser provides, that's a bargain.

Lesser notes:

As you'll see in the course of your subscription year, the appeal of the magazine lies partly in its offbeat combinations of the tried-and-true with the deeply unexpected. I hope you'll be pleased with that mixture.

Whether tried-and-true or unexpected, the pieces are -- like the photography -- genuine. And that makes them priceless in our book. We've saved every issue.


Thanks so much, Mike! I hope all the photographers and photography fans in America read this. It's great that somebody finally noticed our dual function.

-- Wendy Lesser

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