Snow Canvas

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Today’s weather brings to mind a beautiful book in the rare book cupboard donated by one of the library’s greatest angels, Frank Arisman.

It is Snow Canvas: Ski, men and mountains with the Leica by Professor Stefan Kruckenhauser [Berlin: Photokino-Verlag Hellmut Elsner, c1937].  That’s right, 1937.  It is in English, as it was distributed by E. Leitz, London.

Professor Kruckenhauser, it appears, was an early-adaptor to the Leica III, which he enthuses about in the introduction, together with a detailed account of techniques and more about his historic relationship with the Arlberg, where he made the photographs in the book.

With what can be referred to as “Germanic precision,” he gives the technical data for every photograph in the book in a chart before you get to see the first one.

The reader is rather “snow-blinded” to the actual tragic historic context of the book by minutia of technical detail and richly inked blue-ish gravures.

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