Ghosts in the Wilderness: Abandoned America

Overview

Over a 7-year period, Tony and Eva Worobiec, two of the greatest photographers of all time, traveled the dusty paths of rural America, particularly in the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming. The fruits of their journey are pictures so poignant and evocative of the American West that they are the photographic equivalent of a Steinbeck novel. Each amazing photo vividly reveals the struggle for survival, of a disappearing way of life, in the forgotten countryside and backroads of the U.S. In the often harsh and ...
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Overview

Over a 7-year period, Tony and Eva Worobiec, two of the greatest photographers of all time, traveled the dusty paths of rural America, particularly in the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming. The fruits of their journey are pictures so poignant and evocative of the American West that they are the photographic equivalent of a Steinbeck novel. Each amazing photo vividly reveals the struggle for survival, of a disappearing way of life, in the forgotten countryside and backroads of the U.S. In the often harsh and unforgiving landscape, the Worobiecs shot affecting and beautiful pictures of abandoned farms, schools, gas stations, grain elevators and tractors, diners, and trucks.
Tony's pictures are large format, shot in black and white, and then hand tinted. The results resemble postcards from the 1950s. Eva shoots directly in color for a more starkly modern aspect. Both achieve magnificent, and ultimately emotionally touching, results.
Along with the photographs are the words of the remaining residents, who speak sadly of better times, the friends and neighbors for whom things didn't work out, and of their own, once-flourishing piece of abandoned America.
This remarkable achievement is both an exquisite photography book and a commentary on the American way of life.
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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
Taken over the course of a seven-year odyssey through the American West, these evocative photos (Tony's are taken in black-and-white and hand-tinted, Eva's are shot in color) focus on what has been left behind -- vehicles, farms, schoolrooms, kitchens, sofas, peeling walls, clothing still on hangers -- and have the feel of vintage postcards or 19th-century spirit photographs re-imagined by John Steinbeck. — Francine Prose
Library Journal
The Great Plains has been losing people, houses, and even whole towns since the 1930s. A husband-and-wife team, the Worobiecs spent seven years respectfully documenting the visual result of this abandonment, as presented in this outstanding photo essay. Tony uses hand-tinted black-and-white shots to show us settings where a cereal box in a kitchen or a shirt on a hanger in a bedroom portray a rapid departure or a careful decision about what to leave behind. Eva chooses color, not applied but captured on film, to confront this reality, making it look contemporary. The text contains the thoughts of residents who stayed behind, carefully edited but not essential to this timely portrayal of forgotten counties and towns. These photographs capture the slow and evolutionary destruction of the buildings from the "Hi-Line" of Montana, through the Dakotas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado. Instead of being hurried on by vandals, as in abandoned areas of urban America, the decline here is seen in the quiet fading of buildings and whole communities, as nature reclaims them in the vacuum created by decades without inhabitants. Highly recommended.-David Bryant, New Canaan P.L., CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781904332084
  • Publisher: Artist's and Photographers' Press Ltd
  • Publication date: 10/1/2003
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 14.12 (w) x 11.52 (h) x 1.02 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2006

    Artistry in Photography

    I came across 'Ghosts in the Wilderness Abandoned America' by accident. I was browsing through photography books when I found it. When thumbing through the pages I saw true art in these pictures! The perception, depth and color of these pictures are spectacular! What incredible photographers!

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