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Photographs from the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection
This portfolio of eighty-three photographs constitutes a stunning celebration of African American achievement in the twentieth century. Carl Van Vechten, a longtime patron of black writers and artists, took these photographs over the course of three decades—primarily as gifts to his subjects, such luminaries as W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Joe Louis, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Ruby Dee, Lena Horne, and James Earl Jones.
The photographs Rudolph P. Byrd has selected for this volume come from the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of Negro Arts and Letters, which Van Vechten established at Yale University. Byrd has arranged the images chronologically, according to the time at which each subject emerged as a vital presence in African American tradition.
Complementing the photographs are a substantial introduction by Byrd, biographical sketches of each subject, and poems by the noted writer Michael S. Harper. The result is a volume of beauty and power, a record of black excellence that will engage and inform new generations.
A Kite’s View of Wisconsin
This full-color book of photographs records Wisconsin from an unusual viewpoint: a camera suspended from a kite and controlled by photographer Craig M. Wilson from the ground. Taken from fifty to a few hundred feet in the air, Wilson’s photos capture natural and man-made views that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. The result is a vibrant collection that captures Wisconsin in all its shifting beauty in landscapes and cityscapes, festivals, Door County’s lighthouses, Milwaukee’s neighborhoods, and the crowd at a Badger football game. Captions are provided in English, Spanish, German, and Mandarin Chinese.
Four Seasons, Six Generations
African Wisdom in Image and Proverb
I Am Because We Are features 125 black and white photographs by Betty Press taken all over East and West Africa since 1987, combined with related African proverbs compiled by Annetta Miller, an American born in Tanzania.
The book highlights the importance of proverbs in educating members of African societies on how to think, how to behave, and how to have a better life. Press took these photographs with the goal of making a significant educational and artistic contribution to the appreciation and understanding of African culture and society as well as our own.
The photographs of daily life deal with knowledge, cooperation, love, beauty, friendship, hope, humor, sorrow, happiness, gratitude, dance, tradition, faith, peace, war, death, and human relationships. These are the same themes found in African proverbial language. Thus came the natural idea of coupling images with proverbs. Together they offer a powerful expression of African life and the universality of human emotions, ideas, and knowledge.
A symbol of Indiana's past, the covered bridge still evokes feelings of nostalgia, romance, and even mystery. During the 19th century, over 500 of these handsome structures spanned the streams, rivers, and ravines of Indiana. Plagued by floods, fire, storms, neglect, and arson, today fewer than 100 remain. Marsha Williamson Mohr's photographs capture the timeless and simple beauty of these well-traveled structures from around the state, including Parke County—the unofficial covered bridge capital of the world. With 105 color photographs, Indiana's Covered Bridges will appeal to everyone who treasures Indiana's rich architectural heritage.
Capturing the rich contrasts of the land and the intimate history of generations in the Mississippi Delta, Into the Flatland, by Kathleen Robbins, is a series of photographs documenting the terrain, people, and culture of her ancestry. The photographer returned to her childhood farm in Bell Chase as an adult in 2001 after completing graduate studies in New Mexico. She and her brother then lived on their family farm for nearly two years, breathing life back into family properties that had been long dormant. In this series, which won the Photo-NOLA prize in 2011, Robbins highlights the diversity of the landscape of the Delta, from expansive, dusty cotton fields to green, vibrant swamps. Her photographs capture the people and the architecture that are present on the land and also reminiscent of a time long past, before the mechanization of farming and the exodus of her people from their native soil. The presence of Robbins’s family in some of her photographs brings an intimacy to her portrait of the Delta and shows the tension between past and present. Including a short story by a National Endowment for the Arts recipient, Cynthia Shearer, Into the Flatland transports the reader into the rich history of Mississippi. At turns both colorful and gray, the photographs capture not only the Delta landscape, but also the stark and rugged images of people and buildings that sink as deeply into the land as the roots of the trees in the woods and swamps. As large masses of birds flock to the vast blue sky, Robbins remains fixed on the ground, her lens trained on the home and the landscape of her past.
Film, Photography, and Popular Culture
From an analysis of the Guinness brand’s reflection of Irish identity to an exploration of murals and film portrayals of political prisoners, this pioneering collection of essays seeks to present Ireland’s relationship to visual culture as a whole. While other works have explored the imagistic history of Ireland, most have restricted their lens to a single form of visual representation. Ireland in Focus is the first book to address the diverse range of visual representations of national and communal identity in Ireland. The contributors examine the politics of visual representation from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Drawing from the areas of cultural theory, postcolonial studies, art criticism, documentary and archival history, and gender studies, the essays provide novel insights on a variety of visual-cultural forms, including film, theater, photography, landscape art, political murals, and the visual iconography of commercial marketing. Bringing together established scholars and emerging young critics in the field, Ireland in Focus breaks new ground in showcasing the essential dynamism of visual culture and its relationship to Irish studies
Labrador – Photographies de Bob Mesher Le Labrador est l’une des dernières terres mystérieuses et pratiquement inaccessibles du Nord – du moins, comme l’écrit en introduction Danielle Schaub, c’est ainsi que l’ont représenté les explorateurs européens et américains au cours des siècles. Dans ce livre, le premier album de photographies publié par un Inuit du Nunavik, Bob Mesher offre une vision « de l’intérieur » de ce fascinant territoire où il est né, à la suite du périple que sa famille avait entrepris du nord du Québec à Paradise River. Revenu depuis à Kuujjuaq, diplômé universitaire et éditeur de Makivik Magazine, Bob Mesher s’est engagé à documenter par des centaines de milliers de photographies le Nord du Québec et le Labrador. Le lecteur découvrira ici son regard exceptionnel, à travers les choix de la photographe Danielle Schaub et les légendes – souvent étonnantes – de Bob Mesher. Labrador – Photographs by Bob Mesher Labrador is one of the last mysterious and virtually inaccessible territories of the North—or so have the European and American explorers claimed over the centuries, as Danielle Schaub writes in the introduction. In this book, the first album of photographs published by an Inuit from Nunavik, Bob Mesher offers an “insider’s” vision of the fascinating land where he was born, following the journey that his family had begun from Northern Quebec to Paradise River. Having returned to Kuujjuaq, as a university graduate and the publisher of Makivik Magazine, Bob Mesher is committed to documenting Northern Quebec and Labrador through thousands of photographs. The reader will discover his exceptional perspective, through the choices of photographer Danielle Schaub and through the often surprising captions given by Bob Mesher.