Barbie Millicent Roberts: An Original

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Pantheon Books, 1998 - Photography - 93 pages
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The early and rare Barbie -- in seventy-five ravishing photographs. Here is Barbie as she was meant to be seen and celebrated, clothed in Mattel's now impossible-to-find ensembles that were copied from the original designs of the great couturiers -- Chanel, Balenciaga, and Dior among them -- and photographed by the foremost toy photographer at work today.

No other book on Barbie shows her as she is seen here. In image after breathtaking image, her hair, her accessories, her outfits are all styled to perfection. This is how her creators intended for her to look to the millions who saw in Barbie the embodiment of their dreams of beauty and glamour.

Beautifully printed and bound, this is a book that will appeal to Barbie collectors and to anyone who is, or ever was, a Barbie adorer.

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About the author (1998)

David Levinthal, born in San Francisco in 1949, has been working with toy figures and tableaux as the subject matter for his artwork since 1972. He is the photographer and coauthor, with Garry Trudeau, of Hitler Moves East, originally published in 1977. In January of 1997, the International Center of Photography presented a survey of Levinthal's work from 1975 through 1996. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and was named a 1995 Guggenheim Fellow, among other accolades. His work is included in numerous museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum, and The Menil Collection. Levinthal has always viewed toys as both an abstraction and as a tool by which a society and a culture socializes itself. The choice of which and what kind of toys are created, how they are posed, and what they are attempting to represent reflects assumptions about a society's views. I.E.D. is an attempt to look at these questions, using the canvas of the war in Iraq and the new and frightening aspects of this conflict. The acronym I.E.D. (improvised explosive device), unknown to most until just a few years ago, is now a part of our daily vocabulary. By abstracting what is already distant and foreign, Levinthal brings a new perspective to the discourse about this war, going beyond reality to create a new and perhaps more immediate presence.

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