4 Saints in 3 Acts : A Snapshot of the American Avant-Garde in the 1930s, Paperback Book

4 Saints in 3 Acts : A Snapshot of the American Avant-Garde in the 1930s Paperback

Edited by Patricia Allmer, John Sears


Four Saints in Three Acts by Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson was a major avant-garde phenomenon of the 1930s, an experimental opera that nonetheless achieved remarkable popular success.

Photography was a key element of that success, but its complex roles in the construction, representation and dissemination of the opera have hitherto received little critical attention.

The photographic recording of the all-African American cast in particular affords a unique insight into the complexities of Four Saints in relation to the Harlem Renaissance and the New York avant-gardes of the time. This book, published in collaboration with The Photographers' Gallery, London, presents a wide selection of photographs of the cast, performances, and other material - many images reproduced for the first time - alongside essays by an international range of scholars exploring different aspects of the opera, including dance, fashion, music, and avant-garde writing, as well as photography. -- .


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 200 pages, 133 black & white illustrations
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Photographs: collections
  • ISBN: 9781526113030



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