Alison Rossiter: Compendium 1898-1919

  • Co-published with New York Public Library & Yossi Milo

    Hardcover / 13 x 16 inches
    36 images / 96 pages

  • Photography and text by Alison Rossiter

  • ISBN: 9781942185703
  • Trade Edition: $75.00
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  • Signed Edition: $80.00
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From Alison Rossiter: “In honor of Anna Atkins who was the first person to illustrate a book with photographs, I have produced Compendium 1898–1919, a chronology of 12 assemblages made from the earliest expired photographic papers in my collection. The exact expiration dates of these papers pinpoint their location on a timeline and coexist with events in world history. No matter what the light-sensitive materials have endured through dormant years, they still respond to chemical development, and the resulting photographic tones are evidence of experience. Physical damage, moisture, and mold produce tonal changes when developed, and I consider these effects to be subject matter.” This book, a co-publication with the New York Public Library and Yossi Milo, includes all 12 works from the series at actual scale, along with close-up details, photographed by Peter Riesett, Head Photographer, Digital Imaging Unit, New York Public Library. The reference dates, which cover world events such as World War II, and art-historical references like Picasso’s Blue Period, will also be included as a reference key in the back of the book.


Alison Rossiter merges traditional methods of photography with more experimental techniques in her work with gelatin-silver-based photography, using a labor-intensive darkroom process that allows ample opportunity for chance. Working directly with expired photographic papers, she reduces the medium to its minimal components, revealing the qualities inherent in paper to produce subtle, abstract compositions. Her ethereal, minimalist works are in permanent collections at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; National Gallery of Canada; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Minneapolis Institute of Art; and SITE Santa Fe, among other institutions. She has also had her work published in Art in America, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Her first title with Radius Books, Expired Paper, was shortlisted for the Paris Photo-Aperture Award for Best Photobook of 2017. Alison Rossiter is the 2018 recipient of the Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography.