Everett Baker's Saskatchewan: Portraits of an Era

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9781897252451: Everett Baker's Saskatchewan: Portraits of an Era
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University of Saskatchewan historian Bill Waiser has selected and compiled Everett Baker's photographs into the first-ever book-form showcase of this exceptional photographer's work. "Everett Baker's photographic documentation of the province in the mid-twentieth century is a national treasure," Bill Waiser declares in the Introduction to this book. Unlike the black and white photos that typically document the era, they are as colorful as a flax field in bloom and together they provide rich insight into Everett Baker's unique view of the social history of Saskatchewan.

Everett Baker's Saskatchewan is a book filled with photos of the province as Baker saw it starting in 1937, when he travelled from town to town as a field man for the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. With his German-made 35mm Leica camera, Baker took Kodachrome color slide pictures of the people, towns, and farms he visited, immortalizing a unique chapter in Saskatchewan's history. It was the golden age of the co-operative movement in the province, as well as a time of change with the rise of Tommy Douglas's Co-operative Commonwealth Federation government. The old world was slipping into the shadow of the new, and Baker was there to capture it before it disappeared altogether.

"Anyone interested in Saskatchewan history," writes StarPhoenix columnist Randy Burton, "or even in taking a fresh look at where we came from, will find this book a fascinating look back."

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From the Author:

"Baker's photographic documentation of the province in the mid-20th century is a national treasure," says Waiser. "He set out to photograph the co-operative movement but he did not stop there. During his long days on the road, Baker used his camera to capture the diverse Saskatchewan landscape through the seasons. He coaxed people to pose for him."

In Baker's time, Saskatchewan suffered from severe decline in the international demand for wheat and a prolonged drought. He saw the suffering of refugees. He knew a Saskatchewan that lacked electricity and indoor toilets. Baker documented a lifestyle where seven out of every 10 still lived in a rural setting.

"What is most striking about these images, aside from the richness of their colour and the skillful use of light, are the happy, smiling faces. He could see things like no one else with a camera. He had an uncanny skill to set the scene. He caught people in everyday life and everyday activities and people wanted to have their picture taken by him."

About the Author:

Bill Waiser has been a member of the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan since 1984. He is the author, co-author, or co-editor of nine books, including Loyal Till Death: Indians and the North-West Rebellion, which was a 1997 finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Nonfiction, and Saskatchewan: A New History, which was named the best book in prairie history in 2005 and awarded the Clio Prize by the Canadian Historical Association.

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9781897252048: Everett Baker's Saskatchewan: Portraits of an Era

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ISBN 10:  1897252048 ISBN 13:  9781897252048
Publisher: Fifth House Books, 2007
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