Daring to Look
Dorothea Lange's Photographs and Reports from the Field
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|Format:||Paperback, 384 pages|
|Other Information: ||195 halftones|
|Published In: ||United States, 18 September 2009|
"Daring to Look" presents never-before-published photos and captions from Dorothea Lange's fieldwork in California, the Pacific Northwest, and North Carolina during 1939. Lange's images of squatter camps, benighted farmers, and stark landscapes are stunning, and her captions - which range from simple explanations of settings to historical notes and biographical sketches - add unexpected depth, bringing her subjects and their struggles unforgettably to life, often in their own words. When Lange was dismissed from the Farm Security Administration at the end of 1939, these photos and field notes were consigned to archives, where they languished, rarely seen. With "Daring to Look", Anne Whiston Spirn not only returns them to the public eye, but sets them in the context of Lange's pioneering life, work, and struggle for critical recognition - firmly placing Lange in her rightful position at the forefront of American photography.
About the Author
Anne Whiston Spirn is professor of landscape architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A photographer herself, she is the author of The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design and The Language of Landscape.
In this thoughtful and meticulously researched account of Lange's career, Spirn focuses on the photographer's largely unpublished 1939 portfolio and champions it as a masterful mix of the visual and the verbal. Lange's stark photographs and accompanying field reports testify to her desire to show real Depression-era Americans--displaced and downtrodden, but carrying on nevertheless--as honestly as possible; they are published as a whole in the second section of Spirn's book. These photographs include Lange's much vaunted portraits--of sharecroppers hunched in tobacco fields and mothers with their hungry children--as well as some of her lesser known landscape photography. The reverential Spirn, a photographer herself, traces Lange's path, visiting her locations and subjects in a fascinating series of "then and now" shots, an homage to Lange, who Spirn compellingly argues deserves to take her place as "one of the most important American artists of the Twentieth Century." (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"A thoughtful and meticulously researched account of Lange's career.... Spirn, a photographer herself, traces Lange's path, visiting her locations and subjects in a fascinating series of 'then and now' shots." - Publishers Weekly "Dorothea Lange has long been regarded as one of the most brilliant photographic witnesses we have ever had to the peoples and landscapes of America, but until now no one has fully appreciated the richness with which she wove images together with words to convey her insights about this nation. We are lucky indeed that Anne Whiston Spirn, herself a gifted photographer and writer, has now recovered Lange's field notes and woven them into a rich tapestry of texts and images to help us reflect anew on Lange's extraordinary body of work." - William Cronon, author of Nature's Metropolis "These images endure, not as relics of the past but as vital, living documents. We stare, the images stare back, and recognition flashes in our eyes." - Louis P. Masur, Los Angeles Times"
|Publisher: ||University of Chicago Press|
|Dimensions: ||26.0 x 21.0 x 2.0 centimeters (1.18 kg)|