Teju Cole, a photographer, writer, and art historian, wrote the introduction to the first book in this post. His words resonate in all three books profiled below: “A photo is something that, taken in a fraction of a second, can echo for a long time” (Webb & Webb, 2014, p. 8).
The Webbs are married photographers who also collaborate professionally. Their book,Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image, is challenging to describe because it offers so many things. The Webbs share carefully selected images from their collections as well as wisdom attained from the creative journeys of their careers. One of the threads weaving this work together is their artistic differences in style, subjects, and processes: “our ways of seeing are quite different” (p. 14). Another more subtle thread is their respect for each other, for the art of photography, and for the world they photograph: “The world is our collaborator on this twofold journey that’s inward to the self and outward into the world” (p. 14). John T. Richardson Library, Call Number: 778.94 W3651a2014
David Campany also explores the dual nature of photography—specifically images taken by innovative photographers during road trips in the U.S. from 1906 to 2014. The Open Road: Photography & the American Road Trip traces the evolution of the automobile, the U.S. road system, and the art of photography. More significantly, Campany teases out the ongoing societal changes that these photographs bring to light. He proposes that “modern America…is a work in progress” (p. 35) and that “the road trip remains vital precisely because American spatial discovery and mental discovery, selfhood and nationhood, are so intertwined” (p. 36). While photographs from the earlier road trips provided glimpses of different geographies in the U.S. to a less mobile society, contemporary images are equally important for making sense of our internal terrain or identity. John T. Richardson Library, Call Number: 770 C1869o2014
Horace Monroe Poolaw (Kiowa, 1906-1984) photographed members of his multi-tribal community in the Anadarko, Oklahoma area for five decades. His photography is not only an intimate record of his family and community, but also an insider’s view of Native American culture in the southern plains during the mid-twentieth century. The collection is a rich visual documentation of a turbulent time of transition for Native Americans and therefore a valuable contribution to Native American studies. For a Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolawwas published in conjunction with an exhibition of his work (August 9, 2014-February 16, 2015) at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in New York, NY. John T. Richardson Library, Call Number: 978.00497 F6921