An American Family: Three Decades with the McGarveys

Overview

Whether you think of it as the ultimate in time-lapse photography or a reality show begun decades before its time, this 30-year photographic look at one middle-class family from Louisville, Kentucky, is Americana at its most evocative—at once moving, modest, and quietly magnificent. Conceived in the 20th century and carried forward into the 21st, this remarkable collection peers into every aspect of one particular family’s life to produce an album that is instantly recognizable ...
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Overview

Whether you think of it as the ultimate in time-lapse photography or a reality show begun decades before its time, this 30-year photographic look at one middle-class family from Louisville, Kentucky, is Americana at its most evocative—at once moving, modest, and quietly magnificent. Conceived in the 20th century and carried forward into the 21st, this remarkable collection peers into every aspect of one particular family’s life to produce an album that is instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever shared the American experience.

A gifted photojournalist whose 250 discerning images speak for themselves in eloquent black and white, Pam Spaulding started to record the simple, unscripted "real life" events of the McGarveys immediately after the birth of the couple’s first baby in 1977 and ended with the wedding of the second of their three children in 2007. From the death of a beloved dog to Dad McGarvey struggling to assemble a toy aircraft carrier in the wee hours of Christmas, these are scenes that all of us know yet rediscover with astonishing force. From proud young parents to their kids squabbling in the backseat of the family car to the next generation of newlyweds, it’s all here—love, humor, intimacy, tragedy, loyalty.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426205040
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 10/20/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Pam Spaulding has been a photojournalist at the Louisville Courier-Journal for 35 years. She has taught for the National Press Photographers Association.

Claude Cookman is an associate professor of journalism at the Indiana University school of journalism. He has been a writer and picture editor for numerous periodicals.

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