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HomeContentsPhotobooks > Book Details
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Private Places: Photographs of Chicago Gardens 
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Product Details 
96 pages 
Center for American Places 
Published 2005 
"By focusing his camera on backyard gardens, Brad Temkin has captured something poignant and wonderful about the human urge to be at harmony with nature, even in the most urban of circumstances."-Andy Grundberg, curator of photography, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.  
"Temkin's lush photographs are both documentary and visionary. . . Temkin's photographs of these private spaces reveal the artist's personal truth, a world of heightened color and expressive composition that contains both calming sanctuaries and overripe urban Edens."-Barbara Tannenbaum, Head Curator, Akron Museum of Art  
"What is breathtaking here is how he has employed his wondrous color palette upon the intricacies of space, volume, line, and detail that individual gardeners have brought to their particular city spaces. His final compositions are equally celebratory of nature and revealing of this vigorously independent humanity. . . Thomas Moore once remarked upon how the 'soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden.' True enough, but how easily we fail to see this simple majesty as we hurry along on our separate ways. It takes an artist of Temkin's talent and insight to reveal this transcendent beauty that remains to be discovered in the eternal within us all."---Roy Flukinger, Research Curator of Photography, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin  
Book Description 
"A garden has this advantage, that it makes it indifferent where you live. A well-laid garden makes the face of the country of no account; let that be low or high, grand or mean, you have made a beautiful abode worthy of man." Thousands of Chicagoans have taken Ralph Waldo Emerson's words to heart, and they have shared their "beautiful abodes" with photographer Brad Temkin. His Private Places offers an intimate glimpse into the personal gardens of Chicago residents, exploring how they carved out these quiet spaces of flora and greenery in the cityscape of concrete and brick.  
Temkin's camera lens captures the lushness and vibrancy of these backyard gardens, roving over the diverse natural and artificial elements contained in each. His images chronicle how gardens are safe havens for these city dwellers, places where they can read, meditate, relax, and enjoy the experience of working with the soil and its fruits. Temkin notes, "The small gardens have bits and pieces of the person who owns them; found objects that are dear to them, keepsakes, statues, and personal items that reveal the person behind it."  
The motto of the city of Chicago is "Urbs in horto," a Latin phrase meaning "city in a garden." Temkin's compelling photographs reveal the flip side of the motto—"garden in a city"—as Private Places unearths the richly sensual world of the natural tucked away behind the clustered town houses and brick edifices of Chicago's residential neighborhoods.  
About the Author 
Brad Temkin teaches photography at Columbia College Chicago. His photographs are part of numerous permanent collections including those of the Art Institute of Chicago; Krannert Art Museum in Champaign, Illinois; the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
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