They loved Venice, the first time either ever had been there, but it was not until 14 years later that they decided to do a book about it. That decision began a six-year collaboration that produced more than 10,000 images and thousands of words of text: on Venice’s history, its everyday life, its daily battle with the sea. They made it a point not only to photograph Venice’s beauty, but also to document its life behind closed doors: to record this magical place when it reclaims itself, however briefly, from its perennial hordes of tourists, and becomes a living, breathing city.
It was for each a creative plateau that produced some of the best work of their long and varied careers.
The resultant book, Serenissima: Venice in Winter, and its Italian–language edition, Serenissima: Venezia in Inverno, was published in the United States and Italy to rave reviews. It debuted in Washington with a gala opening and exhibition at the Embassy of Italy. The photography therein has been compared to the work of the great photjournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson and Italy’s legendary Gianni Berengo Gardin.
Also by Frank Van Riper
Glenn: The Astronaut Who Would Be President (biography) (1983)
Faces of the Eastern Shore (1992)
Down East Maine/A World Apart (1998)
Talking Photography (collected columns and essays) (2002)