Arts & Culture

America Through the Lens of Jack Spencer

In these images from his new book, This Land: An American Portrait, Jack Spencer has given us a great gift. Like Steinbeck or Kerouac—or Huck Finn, which is perhaps the closer analogy—Spencer decided to “light out for the territory” in 2003 to create a series of images of an America in search of its footing in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11 (the bloodiest day on American soil since Antietam) and on the cusp of the Iraq War. The country he found was various and wondrous, mundane and sublime, explicable and elusive. The book opens with a magical photograph of a wooded path on Cumberland Island, Georgia, and closes on a dirt road in West Texas. In between you will encounter pictures that will put you in mind of Hopper, or O’Keeffe, or Grandma Moses. You will visit Panther Burn, Mississippi; Washington, D.C.; Death Valley, California; Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

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Southern Exposure: Hitting the Road with Jack Spencer