Photography David Wharton Small Town South

ISBN 13: 9781938086090

Small Town South

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9781938086090: Small Town South

Since 1983 David Wharton has photographed the twelve states that define the American South, focusing his attention on rural and small-town culture, vernacular architecture and landscape, the role of religion in Southern life, and the relationship between Southerners, their natural surroundings, and the communities they have built. Small Town South is the result of Wharton's travels through a region that extends from Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas in the west to Virginia and the Carolinas in the east, from Kentucky and Tennessee in the north to Florida in the south, with Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia forming the region's center in between.

No other photographer has devoted so much time and attention to recording this distinctive American place. The 115 duotone photographs which serve as the book's core, combined with the author's insightful text, convey an overall sense of what the small Southern town has become and looks like during the early twenty-first century. Wharton organizes his study into thematic portfolios that address themes such as the intersection of tradition and modernity, local commemorations of the past, the omnipresence of the church in town life, the difficulties of making a living in the New World economy, the look of Main Street, the display of public murals and memorials, and the iconographic unfolding of community values.

Many have likened Wharton's photographic eye and approach to the work of other photographic masters of the South, including Walker Evans, Eudora Welty, William Christenberry, Shelby Lee Adams, Alex Harris, Rob Amberg, and Martha A. Strawn. And, just as we turn to those artists to help us understand and reckon with Southern history and culture, we now can look to David Wharton as another pioneer photographer of the Southern small town in all its simplicity and complexity. (See the publisher's website for further information: http://gftbooks.com/books_Wharton.html )

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About the Author:

David Wharton was born in New York City, in 1947, and was raised in New Jersey. He attended Colgate University, where he earned his B.A. in English in 1969. After an extended trip through Andean South America in 1974, he resolved to teach himself how to use a camera and make photography his life's work. From 1976 to 1978 he worked as a photojournalist for the Willamette Valley Observer in Eugene, Oregon. He then entered graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his M.F.A. in photography in 1986 and his Ph.D. in American studies in 1994. He taught at the University of Texas at San Antonio from 1996 to 1998 and, since 1999, has been Director of Documentary Studies and an assistant professor of Southern studies in the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. His photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe, and his first book, The Soul of a Small Texas Town: Photographs, Memories, and History from McDade, was published in 2000 by the University of Oklahoma

Review:

In an age when many people's experience of the South is from a car window at 70 m.p.h. or through the packaged presentations at New South airports and convention centers, David Wharton beautifully slows our pace and shows us, to quote Faulkner,"the center, the focus, the hub" of the South through these small town spaces. Taking us to the town squares, storefronts, memorials, main streets, and churchyards of towns throughout the region, Wharton reveals distinctive layers of creativity, culture, and time through his wry eye and careful lyricism. Documentary at its core, Wharton's captivating new book--refined and nuanced in all ways--reveals the cultural landscapes of the South that we must see and feel to understand fully our time and place. --Tom Rankin, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

"The last 150 years have been hard on small rural towns. The incredible advances of the 19th Century had the dual effect of dramatically reducing the number of people required to tend farms as well as drawing those displaced former field hands towards cities with blooming manufacturing bases. The result is a string of small towns that have, undeniably, seen better days. And David Wharton captures slices of this reality. Wharton is quick to assert, however, that it's not quite so hopeless as all that...And make no mistake: there is beauty in the desolation. A welcome home sign for a local National Guard unit being blown violently by an 18-wheeler driving through a town in which it will not stop evokes at once the history and the culture and the life of those towns we all pass by on the freeway. Towns that will never be more than a name on a sign to most of us but which are and have been home to generations of Americans. Wharton shows a keen interest in establishing that sense of place. A Burger King sign inviting customers to 'Try Our New Bacon Swiss' across the street from a plaque commemorating a Civil War battle is, undeniably, a reflection of the South today. Small Town South captures this, and many other moments, with clarity and insight and organizes the pictures with thoughtfulness and intent."

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Book Description George F. Thompson, United States, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Since 1983 David Wharton has photographed the twelve states that define the American South, focusing his attention on rural and small town culture, vernacular architecture and landscape, the role of religion in Southern life, and the relationship between Southerners, their natural surroundings, and the communities they have built. Small Town South is the result of Wharton s extensive travels throughout the region. No other photographer has devoted so much time and attention to recording this distinctive American place. The author s 116 duotone photographs, combined with his insightful text, convey an overall sense of what the small Southern town looks like at the turn of the twenty-first century. Wharton organizes his study into thematic portfolios that visually address themes such as decline and renewal on Main Street, the intersection of tradition and modernity, local commemorations of the past, the omnipresence of the church in town life, the difficulties of making a living in the New World economy, the display of public murals and memorials, and the iconographic unfolding of community values. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9781938086090

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Book Description George F. Thompson, United States, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Since 1983 David Wharton has photographed the twelve states that define the American South, focusing his attention on rural and small town culture, vernacular architecture and landscape, the role of religion in Southern life, and the relationship between Southerners, their natural surroundings, and the communities they have built. Small Town South is the result of Wharton s extensive travels throughout the region. No other photographer has devoted so much time and attention to recording this distinctive American place. The author s 116 duotone photographs, combined with his insightful text, convey an overall sense of what the small Southern town looks like at the turn of the twenty-first century. Wharton organizes his study into thematic portfolios that visually address themes such as decline and renewal on Main Street, the intersection of tradition and modernity, local commemorations of the past, the omnipresence of the church in town life, the difficulties of making a living in the New World economy, the display of public murals and memorials, and the iconographic unfolding of community values. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9781938086090

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Book Description George F Thompson Publishing, 2012. Book Condition: New. Since 1983 David Wharton has photographed the twelve states that define the American South, focusing his attention on rural and small town culture, vernacular architecture and landscape, the role of religion in Southern life, and the relationship between Southerners, their natural surroundings, and the communities they have built. Num Pages: 160 pages, black & white illustrations. BIC Classification: AJB; AJC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 293 x 240 x 21. Weight in Grams: 1244. . 2012. Hardcover. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9781938086090

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Book Description George F Thompson Publishing. Book Condition: New. Since 1983 David Wharton has photographed the twelve states that define the American South, focusing his attention on rural and small town culture, vernacular architecture and landscape, the role of religion in Southern life, and the relationship between Southerners, their natural surroundings, and the communities they have built. Num Pages: 160 pages, black & white illustrations. BIC Classification: AJB; AJC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 293 x 240 x 21. Weight in Grams: 1244. . 2012. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781938086090

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