|Product Details |
Twin Palms Pub
From Library Journal
These two books by small-town commercial photographers have common qualities: each reveals the character of one place during one period; the quality of the photography (and reproductions) in both is breathtakingly fine; and both books hint that there may be other minor players with major talents waiting to be published. The portfolio of Clergeau's photographs is presented as a historical document that shows the life of a French village from before World War I to 1936. Essays accompany chapters that focus on schools, religion, early aviation, wartime life, rural and farm life, festivals, and family occasions. Clergeau's life and development as clockmaker turned local photographer is woven throughout the analysis. The photographs, selected from an archive of more than 10,000 glass negatives, rival in quality Atget's documentary images and suggest the photographic survey of occupations carried out by August Sander. The book of Disfarmer's portrait-studio images is beautiful in its presentation?contact prints are reproduced on all-black pages. It is a new book that adds new images to those familiar from the now long-out-of-print Disfarmer (1976), though the essay from that book is included here. Like Clergeau, Disfarmer continued using glass-plate negatives long after film negatives had become popular. From a selection of 3000 negatives salvaged after Disfarmer's death in 1959, we meet the townsfolk of Heber Springs, Arkansas. Sitters apparently were not coaxed to smile or pose as they were artlessly captured. The portraits are among the most powerful and memorable to be found and suggest, again, the work of August Sander and even Diane Arbus. Both books should be added to photography and photographic history collections.?Kathleen Collins, New York Transit Museum Archives, Brooklyn
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Disfarmer (1884^-1959) was a commercial photographer in Heber Springs, Arkansas. He made portraits of his neighbors in the tiny town and the surrounding cotton-farming countryside that are striking in their informality and immediacy. Disfarmer used no scenery or props, he did not coax smiles or particular gestures from his poor, hardworking subjects, and he lit them with direct north light only. What survives of his work is from the World War II era. A great many of these pictures were made to... read more