Gary Baigent, The Unseen City – One hundred and twenty-three photographs of Auckland, 1967

Dust jacket back and front

Dust jacket back and front


From the dust jacket: Gary Baigent was born in Benheim in May 1941. He was educated at Nelson College, and completed a three-year Fine Arts course at the University of Canterbury. After a year at Teachers’ College in Auckland, he decided to concentrate on photography. During the three years it took him to complete this book, he worked at various jobs in Auckland: in timber yards and wool stores, on the wharves, in the railway, in paper stores, and on a fishing boat.

Gary Baigent’s stunning The Unseen City – One hundred and twenty-three photographs of Auckland is of those rare, hidden-treasure photobooks. Not being an expert in photobooks from New Zealand, I have to thank a collector friend who pointed this one out to me.
The book contains no writing beyond the title, the plates index with technical information, and the introductory texts on the dust jacket flaps. Baigent leaves all available space to his photographs, taken in Auckland during the mid-1960s. Most images are printed full page. The uncoated paper is as rough as some of the pictures themselves (the printing quality is rather poor) which adds to the overall charm. The whole feel of this book somehow anticipates the later Japanese publications. (such as Kenji Ishiguro’s Hiroshima Now from 1970, Tetsuya Ichimura’s COME UP from 1971 or Miyako Ishiuchi’s Apartment from 1978). Baigent’s visual approach is surprisingly daring, and it must have been a challenge to publish such an unconventional photobook at the time.

Gary Baigent’s facebook:

Printed in Japan by Mitsumura Printing Company
Jacket design by Gerard Macdonald


Published in New Zealand by Blackwood & Janet Paul Ltd, Auckland 1967
Published in the US by Tri Ocean Books San Francisco 1967

Hard cover with dust jacket

27.5 x 22.2cm

128 pages

Cover back and front

Cover back and front






I would like to thank Emil Gruber for pointing out this wonderful book.