John Thomson: A Window to the Orient

Stephen White, Author Thames & Hudson $35 (200p) ISBN 978-0-500-54112-8
The mid-19th century heralded the age of knowledge, and photography was developed as an effective tool for documenting a vast array of global factsfamous and common people, spectacular scenes and mundane activities, monuments, mills, crafts, war, recreation, ceremony. Among the more venturesome and skillful photographers of that time was Britain's John Thomson who camera-explored Siam, Cambodia, Vietnam and South China in the 1860s. That sojourn is the principal subject of this handsome book, which includes vivid and well-crafted photographs of the now-famous ruins at Angkor Wat, Buddhist monasteries, ""floating cities,'' and the court and king of Siam that bring to life a world of mystery and exotic custom. White's critical biography is thoroughly engaging. (May 27)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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