Borrowed Light: Selections from the Jack Shear Collection

Modeled after Sam Wagstaff’s seminal 1978 A Book of Photographs, this visual history of photography from its inception to the present day is a treasure trove of over 350 color and black-and-white images, carefully sequenced and profoundly evocative.

Culled from the idiosyncratic collection of photographer and curator Jack Shear, this selection of photographs, recently gifted to the Tang Teaching Museum, offers a highly immersive viewing experience. Page after page of images allows the reader to make connections across time, place, style, and technique. This volume features work by history’s most revered photographers, alongside anonymous snapshots, press photos, postcards and scientific images. Surprising and wholly absorbing, this collection celebrates every aspect of the photographic medium.

Important photographers include Anderson & Low, Bruce Davidson, Eliot Erwitt, Nan Goldin, Peter Hujar, William Klein, Helen Levitt, George Platt Lynes, Sally Mann, Richard Misrach, Catherine Opie, Edmund Teske, Bruce Weber, and Joel Peter Witkin. Many works in Shear’s collection hold significant personal meaning, making the exhibition both a look at the history of photography, and also a reflection of Shear’s collecting eye and aesthetic as a photographer himself.

Tang / DelMonico Books•Prestel
Cover Type
Page Count
Year Published
Jean Egger
Editors and Authors
Ian Berry and Jack Shear


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