The Joy of Looking: Great Photographs from the Library of Congress by Aimee Hess and Hannah Freece showcases 108 thought-provoking images selected by photo curators and subject specialists from the 17 million photographs in the Library’s collections.
The book situates early forms of photography — daguerreotype, ambrotype, and reproductions from glass negatives — alongside contemporary images captured digitally and printed via inkjet. It includes familiar photos such as Dorothea Lange’s 1936 portrait of Florence Owens Thompson, commonly known as Migrant Mother along with street photographer Anthony Angel’s lively series of two women sitting on a New York City park bench in 1952, which was virtually unknown during the photographer’s lifetime.
Additional highlights include: Maurice Terrell’s 1954 photograph of Betty White ice skating, Flip Schulke’s 1961 image of Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) training underwater, and Salwan Georges’s 2015 inkjet print of a young Syrian refugee in Michigan.
“These books are like miniature exhibitions,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “They convey a sense of intimacy, a personal invitation to experience Library collections up close.”