Accompanying the current exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris (Univ. of Chicago, $60), casts a spotlight on one of the most gifted photographers of the 19th century. Highlighting the works of the master photographer, Charles Marville, the monograph takes readers back to the mid-1800s, putting us among the people and on the boulevards of the “City of Lights.” Through opulent dusk and fog, Marville’s sepia-toned images capture the spirit and beauty of Paris as it underwent radical transformation through Napoleon III’s modernization program. Commissioned as the official photographer of Paris, Marville created pictures that testify both to the city of a bygone era and his own timeless talent.
Starting as something of an anomaly, Washington, D.C.’s Dunbar High School quickly became a beacon of hope for the African-American community during the Jim Crow era. Founded in 1870, Dunbar stood as a new standard of education, employing a stellar all-black faculty comprising numerous educators with graduate degrees. With many of its alumni going on to become pillars of the community and pilot the advancement of African-Americans, Dunbar’s success seemed boundless. However, in recent years, the institution’s failing test scores and record low numbers in reading comprehension mirror the challenges that plague many urban public schools today. In First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America’s First Black Public High School (Chicago Review, $26.95), Alison Stewart, daughter of Dunbar High School graduates, draws on in-depth interviews with the school’s alumni to tell the extraordinary story of the academically elite public school, its downfall, and its current struggle to regain its excellence.
From farm to table, Washington, D.C.’s Founding Farmers leads the country as one of the most exciting, sustainable restaurants today. Join the Founding Farmers and food writer Nevin Martell for The Founding Farmers Cookbook (Andrews McMeel, $40) as they tantalize the senses and explore the vision behind the restaurant. As locally sourced ingredients and seasonally produced goods continue to soar in popularity, the cookbook allows you to try your hand at some of your favorite dishes at home. From the sticky sweetness of the banana fluffer-nutter to the rustic succulence of the Yankee pot roast, the cookbook connects farmer to table in one hundred recipes. Peppered throughout with gorgeous photographs and mouthwatering dishes, this cookbook is sure to be a hit with cooks and foodies alike.