Picks and Pans Review: A Kiss Is Just a Kiss

updated 02/19/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/19/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

edited by Bruce Velick

"Ansel Adams's genius camera may have celebrated landscape, but, ultimately, what good are mountains and moons except as backdrops for lovers—and where would lovers be without the kiss?" Thus writes novelist Tom Robbins in his brief but characteristically florid introduction to this photographic tribute to the art and science of kissing.

Velick, an art dealer in San Francisco, has collected 66 pictures by various photographers, celebrating kisses between men and cows, women and dogs, men and men, women and women and even between men and women.

As Robbins notes, "No kiss is ever wasted, not even on the winless lottery ticket kissed for luck." And the photographs do coalesce into a treatise on the peculiarities as well as the joys of the activity, a treatise that can be viewed with curiosity, puzzlement and often envy.

By way of saluting the kiss, let's draw on an image that isn't included in the book but certainly should have been, saying hello to Dinah Shore, wherever she may be, and...MMMMwwwwah! (Harmony, $I4.95)

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