184 pp., 10.25 x 10.25, 118 color plates, notes, bibl
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4831-6
Published: February 2019
E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-4832-3
Published: November 2018
E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-5282-3
Published: November 2018
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Awards & distinctions
A 2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
Longlisted, 2020 Kraszna-Krausz Book Awards
Hugh Mangum's multiple-image, glass plate negatives reveal the open-door policy of his studio to show us lives marked both by notable affluence and hard work, all imbued with a strong sense of individuality, self-creation, and often joy. Seen and experienced in the present, the portraits hint at unexpected relationships and histories and also confirm how historical photographs have the power to subvert familiar narratives. Mangum's photographs are not only images; they are objects that have survived a history of their own and exist within the larger political and cultural history of the American South, demonstrating the unpredictable alchemy that often characterizes the best art--its ability over time to evolve with and absorb life and meaning beyond the intentions or expectations of the artist.
About the Authors
Margaret Sartor is a writer, photographer, and instructor at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
For more information about Margaret Sartor, visit the Author Page.
Alex Harris is a writer, photographer, and a founder of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he has taught for many years.
For more information about Alex Harris, visit the Author Page.
"Interesting on so many levels, this is Americana at its most compelling, real buried treasure brought to life."—Library Journal, starred review
“This book offers a rare glimpse into the life and work of a talented and artistic southern photographer born and raised in Durham. . . . Careful selections include more than ninety pages of photographs that highlight Mangum’s ability and sensibility as a photographer, his playfulness and humor, and the ease and comfort his clients felt in his company. . . . A significant contribution to the study of photography in North Carolina.”—North Carolina Historical Review
"How fortunate we are to have these absorbing portraits. First they seduce our eyes and our hearts, then they open our minds." —Peter Galassi, former chief curator of photography, Museum of Modern Art, New York
"These faces, at times smiling, at times stern, sometimes hatted, sometimes bare, are as ghostly as they are concrete. Often formal, even with chickens, they make the twenty-first century seem dull with all its bright colors. Where We Find Ourselves is a gift. Hugh Mangum saw things we need to keep looking for."—Randall Kenan, author of The Fire This Time
"Looking through Hugh Mangum's lens, we are transported to another time. History comes to life in these diverse portraits of southern lives."—Barbara Krauthamer, coauthor of Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery