Publication

Wright Morris: Origin of a Species

  • Wright Morris cover
  • Wright Morris, contents
  • Wright Morris, Plate 1
  • Wright Morris, plate 2

Foreword by John R. Lane; essays by Sandra S. Phillips and John Szarkowski; writings by the artist

104 pages, 70 illustrations, 8 ½ x 11 ½ inches, softcover

Published in 1992

The distinguished author of over thirty novels and volumes of short stories, essays, and criticism, Wright Morris (1910–1998) was also a gifted photographer. Featured here are more than sixty of his photographs, many of which were produced during a series of cross-country car trips during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as original texts by the artist. A pioneer of what he termed the “photo-text,” Morris combined his skills as a writer and a photographer, joining pictures with short, lyrical passages of prose that were related in spirit, but were in no way illustrative or interpretive: “I wanted each medium to exist independently, in its unique separateness, until joined in the mind’s eye of the reader.” The beauty, depth, and importance of his photo-text experiments, as well as their role in capturing and preserving America’s vernacular past, have resonated throughout American arts and letters for more than fifty years. Also featured are critical essays by Sandra S. Phillips and John Szarkowski.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Wright Morris: Origin of a Species, held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (September 3–November 1, 1992) and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (October 13, 1993–February 13, 1994)

ISBN 9780918471246 (softcover)

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