Compendium 1898-1919

Alison Rossiter, 2020

"In honor of Anna Atkins who was the first person to illustrate a book with photographs, I have produced Compendium 1898-1919, a chronology of 12 assemblages made from the earliest expired photographic papers in my collection. The exact expiration dates of these papers pinpoint their location on a timeline and coexist with events in world history. No matter what the light-sensitive materials have endured through dormant years, they still respond to chemical development, and the resulting photographic tones are evidence of experience. Physical damage, moisture, and mold produce tonal changes when developed, and I consider these effects to be subject matter." - Alison Rossiter


This book, a co-publication between Radius Books, New York Public Library and Yossi Milo, includes all 12 works from the series at actual scale, along with close-up details, photographed by Peter Riesett, Head Photographer, Digital Imaging Unit, New York Public Library. The reference dates, which cover world events such as World War II, and art-historical references like Picasso's Blue Period, are also included as a reference key in the back of the book.