Arts

Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Photographing the South

Since 1996, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta has catalyzed new work inspired by the American South through its series Picturing the South. The images, captured by contemporary photographers from around the world and commissioned by the museum, highlight the region’s diverse social and geographic landscape. To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the project, the High has curated a commemorative exhibition featuring nearly two hundred works from all past participating photographers, including Dawoud Bey, Sally Mann, and Richard Misrach, along with new images by Sheila Pree Bright, Jim Goldberg, and An-My Lê. Picturing the South: Twenty-Five Years runs November 5, 2021, through February 6, 2022, at the museum. Click through for a preview of the exhibition.

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Sally Mann (American, born 1951), Untitled, 1996, gelatin silver print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and Lucinda W. Bunnen, 1996.102. © Sally Mann.

Born in Lexington, Virginia, the renowned Sally Mann is best known for her large-format, black-and-white photographs.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art.

Alex Webb (American, born 1952), Atlanta, 1996, dye destruction print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and Lucinda W. Bunnen, 1996.111. © Alex Webb.

The San Francisco-born Alex Webb made his mark in the photography world with his vibrant and complex color photos, often capturing moments of socio-political tension.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Alex Webb (American, born 1952), Atlanta, 1996, dye destruction print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and Lucinda W. Bunnen, 1996.115. © Alex Webb.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Alex Webb (American, born 1952), Atlanta, 1996, dye destruction print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and Lucinda W. Bunnen, 1996.118. © Alex Webb.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953), Nicole and Keith, 1996, dye diffusion transfer print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H.B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and Lucinda W. Bunnen, 1996.119 a-f. © Dawoud Bey. © Dawoud Bey.

Dawoud Bey was born in Queens, New York. With the intent to start dialogues, his street portraits and other photography often tell the stories of underrepresented and unseen communities, including this series of portraits of Atlanta high school students. 

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953), Kanisha, 1996, dye diffusion transfer print, High Museum of Art, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and Lucinda W. Bunnen, 1996.120 a-d.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953), Willie, 1996, dye diffusion transfer print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and Lucinda W. Bunnen, 1996.122 a-d. © Dawoud Bey.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Emmet Gowin (American, born 1941), Aeration Pond, Tidal Estuary and Paper Mill, Fernandina Beach, Florida, 2001, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and Lucinda W. Bunnen, 2004.186. © Emmet Gowin.

The broad range of subjects snapped by Emmet Gowin, from Danville, Virginia, includes aerial landscapes, moths, and his wife.  

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Emmet Gowin (American, born 1941), Aeration and Sedimentation Ponds, Cossa Pines, Alabama, 2001, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and Lucinda W. Bunnen, 2004.194. © Emmet Gowin.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Emmet Gowin (American, born 1941), Aeration Pond, Toxic Water Treatment Facility, Georgetown, South Carolina, 2001, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and Lucinda W. Bunnen, 2004.197. © Emmet Gowin.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Alec Soth (American, born 1969), Enchanted Forest (36), Texas, 2006, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from Photo Forum and the Friends of Photography, 2009.12. © Alec Soth.

Minneapolis’s Alec Soth focuses on large-scale projects and portraits.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Alec Soth (American, born 1969), F. P., Resaca, Georgia, 2006, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from Photo Forum and the Friends of Photography, 2009.16. © Alec Soth.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Alec Soth (American, born 1969), Sidney’s Tomatoes, Nubbin Creek, Alabama, 2007, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from Photo Forum and the Friends of Photography, 2009.22. © Alec Soth.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Richard Misrach (American, born 1949), Home and Grain Elevator, Destrehan, Louisiana, 1998, printed 2012, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust, Lucinda W. Bunnen, and High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund, 2012.5. © Richard Misrach.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Richard Misrach helped pioneer the renaissance of color photography and large-scale presentation through his fine art works featuring expansive landscape and nature views. 

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Richard Misrach (American, born 1949), Norco Cumulus Cloud, Shell Oil Refinery, Norco, Louisiana, 1998, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust, Lucinda W. Bunnen, and High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund, 2012.6. © Richard Misrach.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Richard Misrach (American, born 1949), Swamp and Pipeline, Geismar, Louisiana, 1998, printed 2012, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust, Lucinda W. Bunnen, and High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund, 2012.7. © Richard Misrach.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Kael Alford (American, born 1971), Jacob Walker’s Tattoo, Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, 2008, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from Paul Hagedorn, Phyllis and Sidney Rodbell, and the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust, 2012.26.2. © Kael Alford.

Kael Alford, a photojournalist and documentary photographer from Middletown, New York, has illuminated the effects of erosion and the oil industry on wetlands, coasts, landscapes, and various Louisiana communities.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Kael Alford (American, born 1971), Joseph and Jasmon Jackson Play in the Bayou, Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, 2010, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from Paul Hagedorn, Phyllis and Sidney Rodbell, and the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust, 2012.26.12. © Kael Alford.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Kael Alford (American, born 1971), Stranded Indian Land with Oil Boom, after the British Petroleum Oil Spill, So, 2010, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from Paul Hagedorn, Phyllis and Sidney Rodbell, and the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust, 2012.26.22. © Kael Alford.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Shane Lavalette (American, born 1987), Ground Zero, 2010, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from Paul Hagedorn and the Friends of Photography, 2012.27.6. © Shane Lavalette.

Shane Lavalette, from Burlington, Vermont, serves as the founding director of Assembly, a gallery, agency, and creative studio.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Shane Lavalette (American, born 1987), Athens Morning, 2011, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from Paul Hagedorn and the Friends of Photography, 2012.27.9. © Shane Lavalette.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Shane Lavalette (American, born 1987), Will with Banjo, 2011, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from Paul Hagedorn and the Friends of Photography, 2012.27.12. © Shane Lavalette.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Martin Parr (British, born 1952), Ebenezer Baptist Church, 2011, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from Paul Hagedorn and Lucinda W. Bunnen and Robert L. Bunnen, 2012.28.1. © Martin Parr.

Martin Parr travels the world capturing how people live, how they present themselves, and what they value. 

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Martin Parr (British, born 1952), Staff at the Silver Skillet Restaurant, 2011, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from Paul Hagedorn and Lucinda W. Bunnen and Robert L. Bunnen, 2012.28.4. © Martin Parr.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Martin Parr (British, born 1952), Atlanta Pride March, Mary Lynn Merkle, 2010, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from Paul Hagedorn and Lucinda W. Bunnen and Robert L. Bunnen, 2012.28.13. © Martin Parr.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Abelardo Morell (American, born Cuba, 1948), Camera Obscura: View of Atlanta Looking South Down Peachtree Street in Hotel Room, 2013, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H.B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and gift of the artist, 2013.805. © Abelardo Morell.

Abelardo Morell immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1962 and is now based in Boston.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Mark Steinmetz (American, born 1961), Untitled, 2015, gelatin silver print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H.B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and the Picturing the South Fund, 2015-11-247-003. © Mark Steinmetz.

Athens, Georgia’s Mark Steinmetz photographs people doing ordinary things in ordinary places. His black-and-white images capture urban, rural, and suburban landscapes of Southern Americana. 

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Alex Harris (American, born 1949), Abducted, Waxhaw, North Carolina, 2018, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H.B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and the Picturing the South Fund, 2015.471. © Alex Harris.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in the South, the acclaimed photographer Alex Harris now lives in Durham, North Carolina.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Alex Harris (American, born 1949), And the People Could Fly, Columbia, South Carolina, 2018, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and the Picturing the South Fund, 2015.473. © Alex Harris.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Alex Harris (American, born 1949), Thunder Road, Austin, Texas, 2017, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and the Picturing the South Fund, 2015.474. © Alex Harris.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Mark Steinmetz (American, born 1961), Untitled, 2016, gelatin silver print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H.B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and the Picturing the South Fund, 2016-04-87-002. © Mark Steinmetz.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Mark Steinmetz (American, born 1961), Untitled, 2016, gelatin silver print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the H.B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and the Picturing the South Fund, 2016-09-213-002. © Mark Steinmetz.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

An-My Lê (American, born Vietnam, 1960), High School Students after Black Lives Matter Protest, Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C., 2020, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the Forward Arts Foundation. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery. © An-My Lê.

An-My Lê is a Vietnamese American photographer based in Brooklyn, New York.

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Sheila Pree Bright (American, born 1967), Invisible Empire #1, 2019, gelatin silver print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the Forward Arts Foundation. © Sheila Pree Bright.

Sheila Pree Bright, born in Waycross, Georgia and now living in Atlanta, is known for her works #1960Now, Plastic Bodies, Suburbia, and Young Americans. 

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art

Jim Goldberg (American, born 1953), Untitled from the Whirlpool series, 2021, pigmented inkjet print, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, commissioned with funds from the Forward Arts Foundation. © Jim Goldberg.

The work of Jim Goldberg, of New Haven, Connecticut, often examines neglected or ignored populations, investigating American myths about class, power, and happiness. 

photo: Courtesy of the High Museum of Art