Adirondack Vernacular: The Photography of Henry M. Beach
By Robert Bogdan
This is the first book-length look at the life and work of this upstate photographer, a native of Lewis County. Largely self-taught, Beach was a tireless worker who produced thousands of images, mainly "real-photo" postcard format, that illuminate life in Central and Northern New York in the 20th century. Unlike many of his peers, Beach ranged far and wide photographing tourist spots, summer camps, "the lumber woods", factory operations, and small town life. The author also reviews the photographer's panoramas produced with a Cirkut camera as well as his montage and whimsical postcards, types of cards for which he seems to have had an affinity. While Beach, no doubt, did not think of his work as "art", at its best, his photography goes beyond the vernacular and as such is immediately appealing.