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Vanishing Vernacular
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About the Author

Steve Fitch has been a photographer since the early 1970s. He has taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Princeton University, and, most recently, at the College of Santa Fe and The Santa Fe University of Art and Design. He is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in 1973 and 1975; the last National Endowment for the Arts Survey Grant, awarded in 1981; and the Eliot Porter Fellowship in 1999. He is also the author of Diesels & Dinosaurs: Photographs From the American Highway (Long Run Press, 1976), and Gone: Photographs of Abandonment on the High Plains by Merril Gilfillan, Kathleen Howe, and Evelyn Schlatter (University of New Mexico Press 2002). His work is in the collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Yale University Art Gallery, among others. Toby Jurovics is Chief Curator and Richard and Mary Holland Curator of American Western Art at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. Previously, he was Curator of Photography at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Associate Curator of Photography at the Princeton University Art Museum. He has organized exhibitions on Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Barbara Bosworth, Emmet Gowin, A. J. Russell, William Sutton, and William Wylie, among many other artists, and has written seminal essays on Thomas Joshua Cooper, John Gossage, and the New Topographics. He is the author of Framing the West: The Survey Photographs of Timothy H. O'Sullivan (Yale University Press, 2010).

Reviews

"In Steve Fitch's wonderful photographic survey Vanishing Vernacular: Western Landmarks we find a fading world of the hotels, diners, radio masts and cinemas dotted along the highways [...] Fitch produces a moving paean to the landmarks of yesteryear. This is Americana of an imaginative kind."--Christian House, Sotheby's Art Reviewer "Art Agency, Partners"
"Steve Fitch, who refers to himself as a visual folklorist, has documented the changing landscape of the American West since the mid-1970s. His new photo book, Vanishing Vernacular: Western Landmarks, is a striking visual commentary on how these once ubiquitous signs--alongside thousand-year-old petroglyphs, small-town murals, and drive-in theaters--are becoming part of the collective memory of the West."--Aida Amer "Atlas Obscura"
"Steve Fitch reminds us of one of the great pleasures of the classic American road trip, the exuberant roadside motel sign, an endangered species he artfully captures in all its neon glory, alongside drive-in movie theaters, hand-painted signs, and other oddities of the Western cultural landscape."--Katherine Ware, Curator of Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art

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