Picks and Pans Review: Photography and the Old West

updated 04/02/1979 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/02/1979 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Karen and William R. Current

Since this is essentially a history of photography on the frontier, there is more technical information than general readers might wish. But the pictures themselves, especially of people—explorers, Indians, settlers, cowboys, soldiers—are fascinating. Among them is John C. H. Grabill's portrait of three hopeful-looking gold prospectors in the Dakota Territory in 1889. Camillus S. Fly (described by a companion as "a nervy photographer") talked the newly surrendered Geronimo into posing in 1886. And Solomon D. Butcher snapped a Nebraska farm family gathered around their upright organ outside in front of the corral because they didn't want friends "back East" to see that their home was made of sod. (Abrams, $19.95)

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