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"While Los Angeles long denied it had a river, Kolster's stunning ambrotype photographs narrate an urgent new story: A fifty-one-mile river runs through L.A., and it always has, and you'll need to recover the importance of the river to L.A.'s past if you hope to plan more wisely for L.A.'s future."
—Jenny Price, author of Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in L.A. and Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America

"Kolster's ambrotypes and resultant prints of the L.A. River are as close as we get in our own time to the capturing of a mutable natural form via a process in which chance and variability are to be celebrated. One can speak of the grandeur of the series, its beauty, and its capacity for intellectual pleasure. For me, it's the audacity of the photographer working in and against time to fashion an image made of light; it's the symbiosis between collodion and human skin; it's the power inherent in an older form to make us see our contemporary landscape afresh."
—Horace D. Ballard, Ph.D., Curator of American Art, Williams College Museum of Art

"This book is a revelation. I found myself looking over and over again at pictures of a place I thought I knew. Michael Kolster applies nineteenth-century technology to an oft-derided landscape in a way that elides and compresses time. The evocative result is a series of photographs that enable the viewer to see an iconic regional landmark in new and poignant ways. The illuminating text makes this a beautiful and utterly essential book for anyone intrigued by Los Angeles and its fraught history."
—Jenny Watts, Curator of Photography & Visual Culture, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens





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