ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Rizzoli/Universe International Publications, 300 Park Ave. South, 3rd Fl., New York, NY 10010.
CAREER: Curator and writer.
AWARDS, HONORS: Leab Exhibition Award for Expensive printed catalogs (shared with Jennifer A. Watts), 2002, for The Great Wide Open: Panoramic Photographs of the American West.
(With Jennifer A. Watts) The Great Wide Open: Panoramic Photographs of the American West (exhibition catalog), Merrell (London, England), distributed by Rizzoli International (New York, NY), 2001.
Contributor to exhibition brochures, including In Focus: August Sander. Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2000.
SIDELIGHTS: Claudia Bohn-Spector's The Great Wide Open: Panoramic Photographs of the American West, created with Jennifer A. Watts, is the companion volume to an exhibition held at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, which is home to more than half a million photographs. The volume includes foldouts and features photographs taken from 1850 through the end of the twentieth century. The earlier photographers whose works are represented include E. O. Goldbeck, William Henry Jackson, Carleton E. Watkins, and Eadweard Muybridge; contemporary photographers include Mark Klett, Lois Connor, Karen Halverson, Gus Foster, and Catherine Opie. Graphis contributor Andrea Birnbaum noted that "Opie, known for exposing the sex scene of San Francisco in the 1980s, has turned her wide-angle lens to the labyrinth of Los Angeles freeways. Taken out of context, they appear almost sculptural, engaging viewers to explore every surface and curve." Klett's black-and-white photograph of the Grand Canyon can be compared with one taken from the same location by J. K. Hillers more than a century earlier.
The Great Wide Open is divided into five sections: "Range," "Pathway," "Grid," "Site," and "Tribe" include both historic and contemporary photos that provide a visual link between past and present. The coauthors' text provides an explanation of how panoramic photography has documented the evolution of the American West. Subjects include Pike's Peak, the Grand Coulee Dam, Yosemite, San Francisco following the 1906 earthquake, and the prairies, deserts, and mountains of the West. Library Journal reviewer Raymond Bial wrote that the volume "provides an excellent critique of the panoramic photograph as an art form within its appropriate historical context." Benjamin Markovits, praising Bonn-Spector's efforts in the Times Literary Supplement, called The Great Wide Open "a beautifully printed book, wide and short to display its stunning panoramas, and pleasing equally to the touch and eye."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Graphis, September-October, 2001, Andrea Birnbaum, review of The Great Wide Open: Panoramic Photographs of the American West, p. 102.
Library Journal, September 15, 2001, Raymond Bial, review of The Great Wide Open, p. 77.
Times Literary Supplement, February 8, 2002, Benjamin Markovits, review of The Great Wide Open, p. 7.
American Society of Picture Professionals, http://www.aspp.com/ (March 25, 2005), review of The Great Wide Open.
Entertainment Today, http://www.ent-today.com/ (March 25, 2005), Brad Schreiber, review of The Great Wide Open.