Betsy Pinover Schiff’s Windows on Central Park: The Landscape Revealed provides a photographic study of Manhattan’s famous Central Park. Schiff photographed the park from the windows and balconies of over 100 different apartments in addition to hotels, office buildings, museums, and restaurants. The project took five years, and the result is an impressive compilation of photographs taken from a wide variety of vantage points.
Essentially a coffee table book, the photographs are divided into sections according to their seasons. Interspersed with the photos are quotes about Central Park from, I would assume, Manhattan residents. The photos themselves are beautiful, and make wonderful use of light. Some of the most interesting photos are those which make use of the apartment décor surrounding the windows. People are mostly portrayed from a distance, and some of the panoramic views of the sky and fall foliage are breathtaking.
The only image that this book seems to be lacking would be an overhead view of the park. Of course it’s oddly appropriate that such an image wasn’t included, as it couldn’t have been taken from a building, but I would have found it helpful and feel that it would have served to unify all of the photos.
The Verdict: Schiff has taken a unique idea and, by strict self-limitations (photographing only Central Park from its surrounding buildings) has created an insider’s view of the park.
Release Date: September 28, 2011
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
Author: Betsy Pinover Schiff