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Four Seasons, Six Generations
Laura E. Smith unravels the compelling life story of Kiowa photographer Horace Poolaw (1906–84), one of the first professional Native American photographers. Born on the Kiowa reservation in Anadarko, Oklahoma, Poolaw bought his first camera at the age of fifteen and began taking photos of family, friends, and noted leaders in the Kiowa community, also capturing successive years of powwows and pageants at various fairs, expositions, and other events. Though Poolaw earned some income as a professional photographer, he farmed, raised livestock, and took other jobs to help fund his passion for documenting his community.
Smith examines the cultural and artistic significance of Poolaw’s life in professional photography from 1925 to 1945 in light of European and modernist discourses on photography, portraiture, the function of art, Native American identity, and American Indian religious and political activism. Rather than through the lens of Native peoples’ inevitable extinction or within a discourse of artistic modernism, Smith evaluates Poolaw’s photography within art history and Native American history, simultaneously questioning the category of “fine artist” in relation to the creative lives of Native peoples.
A tour de force of art and cultural history, Horace Poolaw, Photographer of American Indian Modernity illuminates the life of one of Native America’s most gifted, organic artists and documentarians and challenges readers to reevaluate the seamlessness between the creative arts and everyday life through its depiction of one man’s lifelong dedication to art and community.
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.
The Circle City
Indianapolis shines like never before in this one-of-a-kind book filled with stunning images. Photographer Lee Mandrell showcases a Circle City of unique architecture and natural areas, outstanding museums, and historic landmarks. Readers will be drawn into the rich culture, history, and art of Indianapolis as well as all things modern. Discover Indy today! Stroll along the famous Canal Walk. Explore the largest children’s museum in the world. Wander through the city’s parks and enjoy beautiful seasonal displays. Marvel at the campuses of Butler University and IUPUI. The city shines all year round and in December, no holiday tour is complete without seeing the 284-foot tall Soldiers and Sailors Monument covered in lights and the world’s largest Christmas tree. The Crossroads of America is a city not easily forgotten.
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
Photographs of Counterculture in New Mexico
Dropouts, renegades, utopians. Children of the urban middle class and old beatniks living alone, as couples, in families, or as groups in the small Nuevomexicano towns. When photographer Irwin Klein began visiting northern New Mexico in the mid-1960s, he found these self-proclaimed New Settlers—and many others—in the back country between Santa Fe and Taos. His black-and-white photographs captured the life of the counterculture’s transition to a social movement. His documentation of these counterculture communities has become well known and sought after for both its sheer beauty and as a primary source about a largely undocumented group.
By blending Klein’s unpublished work with essays by modern scholars, Benjamin Klein (Irwin’s nephew) creates an important contribution to the literature of the counterculture and especially the 1960s. Supporting essays emphasize the importance of a visual record for interpreting this lifestyle in the American Southwest. Irwin Klein and the New Settlers reinforces the photographer’s reputation as an astute observer of back-to-the-land, modern-day Emersonians whose communes represented contemporary Waldens.