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Generations in Black and White

Photographs from the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection

Carl Van Vechten

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.

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Glorious Gulf of Mexico

Life Below the Blue

Jesse Cancelmo

Stunned by widespread ignorance about the Gulf of Mexico following the 2010 Macondo oil spill, underwater photographer Jesse Cancelmo decided to turn his camera on the marine life of this 600,000 square mile international sea that connects five US states, six Mexican states, and the island nation of Cuba. With the goal of countering dismissive descriptions of a Gulf plagued with dead zones and overrun by oil rigs, Cancelmo set out to capture a world rarely acknowledged, let alone seen.

Between the Gulf's rich shoreline habitats and its prolific oceanic communities, thriving amid dazzling coral reefs, brine seeps, canyons, salt domes, and hard bottom banks, are more than 15,000 species, including an iconic cast of sea animals: sperm whales, manta rays, whale sharks, manatees, spotted dolphins, and more.

Capturing images from locations all around the Gulf, Cancelmo reveals the beauty and glory of these diverse habitats and species.

Although this is a book of sensational underwater photography, Cancelmo intends it to be more than a celebration of oceanic beauty. He also hopes to inspire better understanding and appreciation of the natural marine habitats in the Gulf and to strengthen support for their protection and sustainment.

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The Great Smoky Mountains

A Visual Journey

Foreword by Steve Kemp. Lee Mandrell and DeeDee Niederhouse-Mandrell

The Great Smoky Mountains have inspired, challenged, and entertained millions of visitors for hundreds of years.To preserve thesplendorof the mountains and valleys for all to enjoy, Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicatedthis beautiful area as a protected area and National Park in 1940. In this breathtaking book, the husband-and-wife photography team captures a new vision of the Great Smoky Mountains including both popular attractions and spectacular sites off the beaten path.Stunning photos represent all four seasons, including colorful fall foliage, spring’s wildflower riches, intense summer sunsets, and serene winter snowfalls. Majestic views of mountains from Clingman’s Dome to Morton Overlook along Newfound Gap Road will entice new visitors, while regulars will cherish the book as a memory album of their own, enjoying images of Cades Cove, Roaring Fork Motor Trail and the wildlife of the area. This book of new and remarkable photographs is a necessity for everyone who appreciates natural landscapes, wildlife, and beauty in an area rich with history and culture.

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The Ground on Which I Stand

Tamina, a Freedmen's Town

Marti Corn

In 1871, newly freed slaves established the community of Tamina—then called “Tammany”—north of Houston, near the rich timber lands of Montgomery County. Located in proximity to the just-completed railroad from Conroe to Houston, the community benefited from the burgeoning local lumber industry and available transportation. The residents built homes, churches, a one-room school, and a general store.

Over time, urban growth and change has overtaken Tamina. The sprawling communities of The Woodlands, Shenandoah, Chateau Woods, and Oak Ridge have encroached, introducing both opportunity and complication, as the residents of this rural community enjoy both the benefits and the challenges of urban life. On the one hand, the children of Tamina have the opportunity to attend some of the best public schools in the nation; on the other hand, residents whose education and job skills have not kept pace with modern society are struggling for survival.

Through striking and intimate photography and sensitively gleaned oral histories, Marti Corn has chronicled the lives, dreams, and spirit of the people of Tamina. The result is a multi-faceted portrait of community, kinship, values, and shared history.

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Hanging by a Thread

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.

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Hillingdon Ranch

Four Seasons, Six Generations

David K Langford

In 1885, San Antonio architect Alfred Giles began buying the land that would become Hillingdon Ranch, eventually accumulating 13,000 acres near the town of Comfort in Kendall County. As the property passed to succeeding generations, the holdings got smaller, and more family members shared a stake in the ranch. Today, dozens of Giles descendants own pieces of it, ranging in size from ten to several hundred acres.

Yet Hillingdon remains a working ranch, with day-to-day operations managed by Robin Giles, grandson of Alfred Giles; his wife, Carol; their son, Grant; and Grant’s wife, Misty. The cattle, sheep, and goat business they built has become a model of stewardship and sustainability. While managing family relationships can often be as complicated as managing livestock and forage, the ranch would not exist without the commitment of the large extended family, now in its sixth generation on the ranch.

Hillingdon Ranch: Four Seasons, Six Generations chronicles how one family has worked together over many years to keep their ranch intact. It is also a beautifully photographed portrait of a ranching family and their life in the Texas Hill Country, where work is guided by the seasons, increasingly influenced by technology, and inevitably affected by drought.

In learning about the family’s successes and challenges, readers will gain a greater appreciation of what the Giles family’s efforts mean to the rest of us: food, fiber, clean air, wildlife, healthy land, peace and quiet, and, perhaps most important of all, clean and plentiful water.

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Horace Poolaw, Photographer of American Indian Modernity

Laura E. Smith

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.
    

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I Am Because We Are

African Wisdom in Image and Proverb

Betty Press

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.

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Indiana Across the Land

Lee Mandrell and DeeDee Niederhouse-Mandrell

The captivating landscapes of America's heartland offer an inviting escape from the everyday in Indiana Across the Land. Although a road trip from the shores of Lake Michigan to the Ohio River could be accomplished in only six hours, photographers Lee Mandrell and DeeDee Niederhouse-Mandrell take readers the long way around the Hoosier state, embarking on a breathtaking journey across the seasons, down windswept dunes, through old-growth forests, over burbling creeks and yawning chasms, past icy lighthouses and worn-down barns, and into the southern cypress swamps. More than 140 photographs capture the beauty of the Indiana Dunes National Lake Shore, Ouabache State Park, Turkey Run State Park, Squire Boone Caverns, and many other landmarks and natural wonders, both well-known and rarely glimpsed.

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Indiana Covered Bridges

Marsha Williamson Mohr. Foreword by Rachel Berenson Perry

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.

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