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Double Click: Twin Photographers in the Golden Age of Magazines (Hardcover)

Double Click: Twin Photographers in the Golden Age of Magazines By Carol Kino Cover Image
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A riveting dual biography of the McLaughlins—identical twin sisters who became groundbreaking photographers in New York during the glamorous magazine golden age of the 1930s and 40s—for fans of Ninth Street Women and The Barbizon.

The McLaughlin twins were trailblazing female photographers, celebrated in their time as stars in their respective fields, but have largely been forgotten since. Here, in Double Click, author Carol Kino provides us with a fascinating window into the golden era of magazine photography and the first young women’s publications, bringing these two brilliant women and their remarkable accomplishments to vivid life.

Frances was the only female photographer on staff in Condé Nast's photo studio, hired just after Irving Penn, and became known for streetwise, cinema verité-style work, which appeared in the pages of Glamour and Vogue. Her sister Kathryn’s surrealistic portraits filled the era’s new “career girl” magazines, including Charm and Mademoiselle. Both twins married Harper’s Bazaar photographers and socialized with a glittering crowd that included the supermodel Lisa Fonssagrives and the photographer Richard Avedon. Kino uses their careers to illuminate the lives of young women during this time, an early twentieth-century moment marked by proto-feminist thinking, excitement about photography’s burgeoning creative potential, and the ferment of wartime New York. Toward the end of the 1940s, and moving into the early 1950s, conventionality took over, women were pushed back into the home, and the window of opportunity began to close. Kino renders this fleeting moment of possibility in gleaming multi-color, so that the reader cherishes its abundance, mourns its passing, and gains new appreciation for the talent that was fostered at its peak.

Pulling back the curtain on an electric, creative time in New York’s history, and rich with original research, Double Click is cultural reportage and biography at its finest.

About the Author

Carol Kino’s writing about art, artists, the art world, and contemporary culture has appeared in publications such as The New YorkerThe Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The AtlanticSlateTown & Country, and just about every major art magazine. She was formerly a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at the New York Public Library and the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program. She grew up on the Stanford campus in Northern California and lives in Manhattan. Double Click is her first book.

Praise For…

A Town & Country Must-Read Book of Spring 2024

"[McLaughlin-Gill and Abbe] are captivating and uncanny. It’s hard to look away." —The New York Times

"Double Click charts a critical moment in the United States, bringing to the surface questions around aesthetics, technologies, and gender through the arc of the [McLaughlin] twins’ lives." —Gagosian Quarterly

"A monument to talent and creativity as much as it is to resiliency and determination...an essential read for anybody curious about the relationship between cultural history, journalism, and photography." —Musée Magazine
“In this deeply researched and fascinating biography… Kino explores the lives and all-too-short careers of both women as well as a lost age among some of the 20th century's most important creative forces.” —Town & Country

“Carol Kino has interwoven a biography of the McLaughlins with an authoritative, detailed history of fashion, the art world and photography in midcentury New York.” —The Wall Street Journal

Double Click bursts with enthusiasm and excitement just like the McLaughlin twins. Kino has given us a double biography and evocation of a remarkable time in American life, business, and art.” —BookTrib

"A group portrait with an winning ensemble cast, albeit one boasting two standout performers.” —ShelfAwareness

“Engrossing… Kino paints a textured portrait of artists who came of age amid sea changes in magazine publishing and women’s cultural roles, and helped transform the way Americans consumed information and encountered fashion…Fashion, photography, and pop culture aficionados will be captivated.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Engaging… A colorful cultural history emerges from two eventful lives.”—Kirkus Review

“What makes Double Click such a revelation is Carol Kino’s precise and engaging narrative. An exquisitely intimate portrait of the McLaughlin sisters and their work, this is a beautiful biography, richly detailed and full of life. A remarkable accomplishment.”  
—Gilbert King, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Devil in the Grove 

“Carol Kino’s Double Click is a fascinating, rich, and beautifully written tale of two twentieth century women photographers navigating a world of images that focused on women in front of the camera without encouraging them to step behind it. . . . Kino has written a story that is inspirational and thrilling. Double Click is a joy to read.” 
Mary Gabriel, author of Ninth Street Women and Madonna: A Rebel Life 
“Carol Kino presents a lively, much-needed double biography of the female twin photographers whose careers flourished magnificently during wartime and who then had to adapt once the men came home. A unique, and uniquely female, window into the mid-twentieth-century art world in New York.” 
—Sherill Tippins, author of February House 
“I came to this book excited to learn about the fascinating twin female photographers of the Forties, but I discovered so much more.  Carol Kino taught me about photographic technologies and techniques, the history of industrial design in America, and the fun, early days of the 'college craze' in fashion and magazines. Double Click is much more than a biography times two, it is a historical work times ten!” 
—Becky E. Conekin, author of Lee Miller in Fashion 
“In Double Click, Carol Kino tells the riveting story of Frances and Kathryn McLaughlin, Brooklyn-born identical twin photographers who came of age in the 1930s and went on to infiltrate the male-dominated ranks of their profession. . . . It’s an extraordinary tale, one Kino deftly places into social and historical context, including World War II, the history of photography, fashion trends, and the rise of feminism.” 
—Penelope Rowlands, author of A Dash of Daring 

“With this double biography of the McLaughlin twins, Carol Kino has uncovered a fascinating slice of 20th century photography and magazine publishing…[she] reveals just what it took for the pair to thrive in a man’s world, using the story of their successes and their challenges to restore a pair of female creators to their rightful place in the pantheon.”
—William Middleton, author of Paradise Now and Double Vision


Product Details
ISBN: 9781982113049
ISBN-10: 1982113049
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 432
Language: English

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