Tavern League: Portraits of Wisconsin Bars

Tavern League: Portraits of Wisconsin Bars

by Carl Corey
     
 

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In Tavern League, photographer Carl Corey documents a unique and important segment of the Wisconsin community. Our bars are unique micro-communities, offering patrons a sense of belonging. Many of these bars are the only public gathering place in the rural communities they serve. These simple taverns offer the individual the valuable opportunity for face to

Overview

In Tavern League, photographer Carl Corey documents a unique and important segment of the Wisconsin community. Our bars are unique micro-communities, offering patrons a sense of belonging. Many of these bars are the only public gathering place in the rural communities they serve. These simple taverns offer the individual the valuable opportunity for face to face conversation and camaraderie, particularly as people become more physically isolated through the accelerated use of the internet’s social networking, mobile texting, gaming, and the rapid-fire of email.

This collection of 60 pictures captures the Wisconsin tavern as it is today. Carl Corey’s view is both familiar and undeniably unique, his pictures resonant with anyone who has set foot in a Wisconsin tavern. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Mary Louise Schumacher has written, “Carl Corey’s photographs . . . document iconic American places that are taken for granted. . . . They are comforting images, places we know, but also eerie and remote, presented with a sense of romance and nostalgia that suggests they are already past.”

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Tavern culture is slipping into a cluttered American past, but Carl Corey is present with his camera making sure we don't and won't forget. Even if you have never set foot in Wisconsin, these wistful photographs will resonate if you have ever frequented a public establishment to celebrate, to commiserate, or to just be around other folks. Corey's images are portraits of beloved places — a family album of sorts — warmly sympathetic and full of nuance. So pull up a bar stool, flip through these pages, and raise a glass to the friend you have always counted on:  the neighborhood tavern." (Todd J. Tubutis, Executive Director, Blue Sky, the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts)

"Carl Corey’s photographs in this book conjure up the dark mysteries and deep pleasures of these boozy oases with respect and an appealing sense of familiarity. These are fond images, reflecting pride of place and a sense of community that is increasingly virtual and decentered in our hectic, 21st-century lives. Let’s all hope ‘last call’ doesn’t come for many years; these taverns serve far more than drinks.” (George Slade, Program Manager and Curator, Photographic Resource Center, Boston)

"Carl Corey's photographs . . . document iconic American places that are taken for granted. . . . They are comforting images, places we know, but also eerie and remote, presented with a sense of romance and nostalgia that suggests they are already past." (Mary Louise Schumacher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

“Carl Corey’s camera lens is a charmed circle. Once we enter its domain, he works his end upon our senses, and with his subjects we all stand spell-stopped. Commonplace words for generic environments, such as tavern or bar, suffer a sea change into something rich and strange before our eyes. The simple words are translated into complex visual metaphors for a type of nest we create for ourselves, nests as sturdy and lovely as those built by swallows, in which our fledgling souls can mingle and find security in the vast, astounding world we all inhabit together. . . . Yes, the mighty art of Carl Corey is to be treasured by all of us.” (Vincent Virga, renowned photo editor and author of Eyes of the Nation: A Self-Portrait of the United States)

“Through Carl’s lens, we find ourselves in the role of patron. We see the owners and their taverns from a perspective that is deeply personal and moving. . . . His book is a magical alchemy, mixing the realism of documentary photography with an artistry that is transcendent, capturing a mood, a presence, an impression of the fleeting world of taverns past. His photos frame more than a mere sense of place; we are drawn into their warm, rich color, the drama of their details, and the intimacy of their composition. His artistry is creating photos that pull us both intellectually and emotionally into vignettes comprising a slice of time and place.” (Jim Draeger, architectural historian and author of Fill ’er Up: The Glory Days of Wisconsin Gas Stations)

"Using only natural light, Corey’s images are imbued with a sense of familiarity and nostalgia. You can almost feel the vinyl bar stools soften under your weight as you belly up to the u-shaped bar of Club 53 in Amery. You can taste the Sunday potluck dinners during football season at places like The Sidetrack Saloon in Roberts. Essentially, his photos make the viewer feel like they’d been there before, and I suppose that can also be the strange magic of taverns like this. They are all different, and yet, they are all the same. These are the places where beer is cheap and mostly domestic, where Kessler is the house whiskey,  and where the person behind the bar knows every detail of the community." (Erin Petersen, Third Coast Digest)

2012 Gold in the Photography Book Category from PubWest Book Design Awards
2011 Finalist in the Photography: General Category from USA National Best Book Awards

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780870204784
Publisher:
Wisconsin Historical Society
Publication date:
08/15/2011
Pages:
136
Sales rank:
603,367
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Carl Corey has been interested in photography since he was a child growing up in Chicago. He has worked as an advertising still photographer and director and cameraman for advertising projects in Chicago and Los Angeles. He retired from the advertising business and moved back to Wisconsin after twenty-five years to focus on his roots: documentary photography. Carl Corey’s work is exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, as well in numerous private and public collections. Corey has won more than 100 photography awards from such groups and publications as the New York Art Directors Club, Communication Arts, Bessies, Addys, and Gold Lions.

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