A Long Arc meditates on American identity through one of its most mythologized and depicted regions. Not only have many iconic photographs and landmark bodies of work been created in the South, but since the dawn of photography in the nineteenth century, photographers have articulated the distinct and evolving character of the South’s people, landscape, and culture and reckoned with its fraught past. Many of the urgent questions about what defines the American experience—from racism, poverty, and the legacy of slavery to environmental disaster, immigration, and the changes wrought by a modern, global economy—have been most powerfully explored in the photography of the South.
The book includes essays by Imani Perry, Sarah Kennel, and Gregory Harris. Insightful chapter texts by Makeda Best, LeRonn P. Brooks, Rahim Fortune, Grace Elizabeth Hale, Maria L. Kelly, Scott L. Matthews, and Brian Piper illuminate this broad survey of photographs of the Southern United States as an essential American story.
A Long Arc: Photography and the American South since 1945 is edited by Denise Wolff, Senior Editor, Books, at Aperture, with former assistant editor Lanah Swindle, and is available at aperture.org/books.
Gatherings planned in celebration of A Long Arc include a conversation between Rahim Fortune and Gregory Harris at the High Museum on October 19. For more information, visit aperture.org/events.
Copublished with the High Museum of Art on the occasion of the exhibition A Long Arc: Photography and the American South since 1845 curated by Gregory J. Harris and Sarah Kennel. On view at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (September 15, 2023–January 14, 2024), the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts (March 1–July 31, 2024), and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (October 5, 2024–January 26, 2025).
Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, New Jersey, where she is also a Faculty Associate with the Program in Law and Public Affairs, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Jazz Studies.
Sarah Kennel is the Aaron Siskind Curator of Photography and Director of the Raysor Center for Works on Paper at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.
Gregory Harris is the Donald and Marilyn Keough Family Curator of Photography at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.
Makeda Best is the Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Oakland Museum of California; LeRonn P. Brooks is associate curator for modern and contemporary collections at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles; Rahim Fortune is a photographer living and working between New York and Texas; Grace Elizabeth Hale is commonwealth professor of American studies and history at the University of Virginia Charlottesville; Maria L. Kelly is assistant curator of photography at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Scott L. Matthews is assistant professor of history at Florida State College at Jacksonville; Brian Piper is the Freeman Family Curator of Photographs, Prints, and Drawings at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana.
Aperture is a nonprofit publisher that leads conversations around photography worldwide. From its base in New York, Aperture connects global audiences and supports artists through its acclaimed quarterly magazine, books, exhibitions, digital platforms, public programs, limited-edition prints, and awards. Established in 1952 to advance “creative thinking, significantly expressed in words and photographs, Aperture champions
This publication was made possible, in part, with generous support from Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.