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Wallace Nutting, Ireland Beautiful, 1925
What is inside?First published in 1925 and republished here in full-searchable electronic format is the first edition of Wallace Nutting's Ireland Beautiful. Published by Nutting's own company, the Old American Company at Framingham, Massachusetts, Ireland Beautiful was one ten books published by Wallace Nutting, the others being Vermont Beautiful (1922), New Hampshire Beautiful (1923), Connecticut Beautiful (1923), Massachusetts Beautiful (1923), Maine Beautiful (1924), Pennsylvania Beautiful (1924), Ireland Beautiful (1925), New York Beautiful (1927), England Beautiful (1928), and Virginia Beautiful (1930). All the publications in the series were renowned for their illustrations and Ireland Beautiful is no exception containing as it does 304 pictures of every county in Ireland. Born in Massachusetts in 1861, Nutting was one of only two children. His sister Edith died when she was eighteen and Wallace's father was killed during the American Civil War when he was aged just four. Educated at Harvard, Nutting was an ordained Congregational Minister, but he is renowned as a photographer, artist, and antiquarian, who is most famous for his pictures. He also was an accomplished author, lecturer, furniture maker, antiques expert and collector. It is widely held that his photographs helped spur the Colonial Revival Style in America. Nutting started taking photographs in 1899 Wallace Nutting started taking pictures in 1899 while on long bicycle rides in the countryside. In 1904 he opened the Wallace Nutting Art Prints Studio on East 23rd Street in New York and his printing business flourished. It is estimated that at the peak of his success he employed some 200 colourists and by his own account he sold more than ten million pictures. Ireland Beautiful is dedicated 'to those Americans who, from birth, have loved or who have learned to love old Ireland'. As with his publications in American states, Ireland Beautiful attempts to capture Ireland as it was and perhaps would never be again. Although not professing Ireland Beautiful to be a guide book in the strictest sense of the meaning, Nutting admitted to having travelled more than 7,000 miles and visited every county in Ireland between 1922 and 1925 in addition to having taken all 304 photographs to appear in the publication, which appear as 'half-tone engravings'. Nutting visited most of the traditional beauty spots of Ireland and photographs them all, however, Ireland Beautiful is replete with images of his greatest passion: the ordinary. To this end more than half of the illustrations in this publication are of a more humble and simple way of life, notably the rural cottage, the cottier and the labourer. It was these themes that made Nutting famous and have ensured that his photography and the subjects that he chose and have lone since passed, still endure. Fully-indexed, the 302 pages of text accompanying Ireland Beautiful's 304 photographs are as the themes of the illustrations, beautiful in their simplicity. A lovely publication that should not be missed by lovers of Ireland and lovers of photography.
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