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Featured Books - Todd Webb: A Photographer’s Welcome Home

Todd Webb: A Photographer’s Welcome Home

Selection and introduction by Michael Alpert

Todd Webb: A Photographer's Welcome Home cover imageFriend and colleague of Alfred Stieglitz, Harry Callahan, Walker Evans, Berenice Abbott, and many other notable twentieth-century photographers, Todd Webb (1905-2000) began his artistic career in the 1940s, at the height of American Modernism. Previous books on Webb have presented a broad survey of his accomplishment, including his photographs in New York and Paris, his American Southwest landscape studies, his portraits of Georgia O’Keefe, and his later photographs of Maine. This book focuses on a series of photographs at the heart of Webb’s varied effort. These photographs were made in New York, and later in France and England, soon after World War II, when Webb had just returned to civilian life.

Finding subject matter that accurately depicted his historical moment, Webb simultaneously discovered visual equivalences for his personal situation. Through the juxtaposition of old and new, the use of building signs to suggest personal feeling, and the careful portrayal of individuals in public situations, Webb’s photographs articulate important questions of home-coming, individual identity within an urban environment, and the relationship of reality and shadow (in all its senses) – questions that are still of immense importance today in a world that, for good or ill, has inherited the social and psychological legacy represented in Webb’s eloquent work.

Published in association with the University of Maine Museum of Art

80 pages, 8.5 x 9.75, with 32 duotone illustrations

Hardcover, 2008; ISBN 978-0-89101-116-3;  $40.00

Writer and visual artist Michael Alpert is the director of the University of Maine Press. A book of Alpert’s photographs, titled A Maine Portfolio, was published in 2004 by the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport.

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