Small Town South

Small Town South

by David Wharton

Hardcover

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Overview

Small Town South by David Wharton

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 )

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938086090
Publisher: George F Thompson Publishing
Publication date: 11/01/2012
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 11.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

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

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