Pioneer Cemetery, Bandon, Oregon, 1999-2003
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
© Robert Adams
Inspired by the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition, photographer Robert Adams's most recent work presents a new look at the territory these explorers covered and the results of their effort. Titled Turning Back: A Photographic Journal of Re-exploration, the project considers the explorers' historic journey as they returned to the East. Starting at the Pacific, Adams traveled along the Columbia River, recording the geography and how the land has been used. His photographs show the coastal tourist areas, the vast acreage of timber cultivation and clearcutting farther inland, and the small family farms of eastern Oregon. The pictures offer a reflection on the promise described by Lewis and Clark — a meditation on what was lost and what is retained, what we value regionally and as a people with a common history.