Viewed in retrospect, the images that have appeared in this magazine over the years reflect a breadth of visual interest, the product of an irrational exuberance for the art of photography on the part of our editors and audience. In choosing the images for this retrospective portfolio, we aimed to identify the special qualities of American Photo's vision, to distill our ideas about photography into a small, potent sampling. Accordingly, the photographs you'll find on the following pages are loosely grouped to explore ideas of information, identity, and illusion. There is also a sense of sublime inspiration to be drawn from this essential collection. Man Ray once said, "Of course there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask 'how,' while others of a more curious nature will ask 'why.'" As always, we invite you to be curious.