September 2, 2006

Hanns Reich's Children And Their Fathers

From some Boomer on eBay:

Those Of You Younger than I - Who Interpret The Past I Lived through with mere History Replication and Remnants of "News" and "Culture" Have Missed So Much........

In the Present Day When you Listen to Music from the 60s you than Hear Ads for Spending Money - Or Making Money.....

The Radical Decade Closed the Door (for a time) on War - Opened Our View of Nature - focused in Individual Freedom and Forced Political Changes in the Fields of Civil Rights and Feminism.....

It was a Period of Intense Personal Interaction as well with Individuals Breaking away from Classic Behavior Expectations to Explore the World of Love without Restrictions...

Here find a measure of how we Truly Approached the Social Aspects to the Decade...
It derives from the Mind, Eye and Observations of ...
Hanns Reich, An Amazing Photographer with World-Wide Threads and Printings...

Yesirree, the Sixties sure were about nothing but love and peace, now, weren't they? Glad it worked out so well for you, Grandpa.

Unfortunately, I can't find much more background information on Herr Reich, who was not actually a photographer himself, so much as a compiler, editor, and publisher of photography. He put out a whole slew of mod, little photoessay books starting in the late 50's under the Terra Magica label.

Each focused on a particular subject or genre: from Cats and Horses to Finnland, Spain and South Africa to Lovers. One of his most popular series was Laughing Camera, photographs that are amusing to the photographer's eye. And his Children series included Children and their Mothers, Children and their Fathers and Children of the World, each one exactly what it sounds like.

children_fathers_reich3
From a visual entertainment standpoint, they're pretty awesome. I can see enjoying these just as vintage 60's design objects myself, but they're so simple and rich--almost all in black&white, they look like little, single-subject Life Magazines with all the text taken out--I can easily see a kid being engrossed by them, too, especially the animals or the babies ones.

The enfuriating thing about them, though: there are no credit lines for the
photographs. After digging around online, I found some names mentioned [which I compiled below], but little other info. I'll post a few to the daddytypes flickr pool, and see if anyone can ID them.

children_fathers_reich1 children_fathers_reich2
Meanwhile, let's get back to those oh-so-special 60's generationalists. Here's what Eugen Roth wrote in the slightly odd, translated-from-the-German, foreword to the 1962 US edition of Children And Their Fathers:
...No one can deny children have fundamentally changed. We read it every day in the newspapers or magazines; we hear it on the radio; and, if we go to the movies or sit in front of our television screens, we see it on film. But this in turn leads us to another conclusion. By and large we parents--especially we fathers-- have changed. Let us console ourselves by saying we have changed for the better. Yet the thought will not down that a good thing can be pushed too far: the problem of being "pals" with our children is one of the hardest problems in existence.
Yeah, good luck with that completely non-controversial problem. And if you can show me the generation that says things haven't changed, and that it's just like its parents, I'll give you a dollar. Seriously.

There are English, French, German, and some Nordic editions floating around out there, and prices on Amazon, eBay, and Abebooks range from $0.50 CAN [i.e., less than a freakin' stamp] to $500 with no discernible difference. Just don't be a chump, and you can have yourself a nice set of vintage picture books for under $25.

Buy Hanns Reich books on eBay, or on Amazon [ebay.com, amazon.com]

Here a partial list of photographers in Reich's Children and their Fathers, as attributed by various used and rare booksellers around the web:

Paul Almasy
Rene Burri
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Jean-Fran├žois Collignon [I think it's J-F, anyway]
Hartig [?]
Florence Homolka [ok, this one's p.71, the photo of Thomas Mann]
Dorothea Lange
Magnum [not a photographer, I know]
Elisabeth Niggemeyer
Fulvio Roiter
Toni Schneiders
Carroll Seghers
Suzanne Szasz
Sabine Weiss

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