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Emmet Gowin: Photographs

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Following his marriage to Edith Morris in 1964, Virginia photographer Emmet Gowin began to make portraits of his wife and extended family in and around his rural hometown of Danville. In this collection of 68 black-and-white images, first published in 1976 by Alfred A. Knopf, and now lovingly brought back into print by Steidl Photography International, Gowin writes, "in 19 Following his marriage to Edith Morris in 1964, Virginia photographer Emmet Gowin began to make portraits of his wife and extended family in and around his rural hometown of Danville. In this collection of 68 black-and-white images, first published in 1976 by Alfred A. Knopf, and now lovingly brought back into print by Steidl Photography International, Gowin writes, "in 1964, I entered into a family freshly different from my own. I admired their simplicity and generosity, and thought of the pictures I made as agreements. I wanted to pay attention to the body and personality that had agreed out of love to reveal itself." Inspired by the work of Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Frederick Sommer and his mentor, Harry Callahan, Gowin approaches his subjects with a reverence for the relationship between photographer and subject. Although his images often resemble snapshots, he makes pictures that succeed as more than just family records--one technique is to employ a circular vignette around the image. The pictures collected in this new edition of Emmet Gowin: Photographs are from new scans of the vintage prints, impeccably reproduced.


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Following his marriage to Edith Morris in 1964, Virginia photographer Emmet Gowin began to make portraits of his wife and extended family in and around his rural hometown of Danville. In this collection of 68 black-and-white images, first published in 1976 by Alfred A. Knopf, and now lovingly brought back into print by Steidl Photography International, Gowin writes, "in 19 Following his marriage to Edith Morris in 1964, Virginia photographer Emmet Gowin began to make portraits of his wife and extended family in and around his rural hometown of Danville. In this collection of 68 black-and-white images, first published in 1976 by Alfred A. Knopf, and now lovingly brought back into print by Steidl Photography International, Gowin writes, "in 1964, I entered into a family freshly different from my own. I admired their simplicity and generosity, and thought of the pictures I made as agreements. I wanted to pay attention to the body and personality that had agreed out of love to reveal itself." Inspired by the work of Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Frederick Sommer and his mentor, Harry Callahan, Gowin approaches his subjects with a reverence for the relationship between photographer and subject. Although his images often resemble snapshots, he makes pictures that succeed as more than just family records--one technique is to employ a circular vignette around the image. The pictures collected in this new edition of Emmet Gowin: Photographs are from new scans of the vintage prints, impeccably reproduced.

40 review for Emmet Gowin: Photographs

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Ward

    Emmet Gowin: Photographs by Emmet Gowin (Bulfinch Press 1990)(779.0924) attracted my attention because Shelby Lee Adams listed the photographer as an influence on his own work. I can see a little of Gowin's influence in some early photos from Danville, Virginia, but Gowin's later work as contained in this volume tends to focus more on experimental compositions and landscapes than on portraiture (like Shelby Lee Adams). My rating: 5/10, finished 8/29/11. Emmet Gowin: Photographs by Emmet Gowin (Bulfinch Press 1990)(779.0924) attracted my attention because Shelby Lee Adams listed the photographer as an influence on his own work. I can see a little of Gowin's influence in some early photos from Danville, Virginia, but Gowin's later work as contained in this volume tends to focus more on experimental compositions and landscapes than on portraiture (like Shelby Lee Adams). My rating: 5/10, finished 8/29/11.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Thomasgrace

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    Kate Martin

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