A biography of clarence john laughlin an american photographer

This omnium-gatherum of photographs, quotations, and essays serves not as an explanation of the enigma but a suggestion of its boundaries. His rocky childhood, southern heritage, and interest in literature influenced his work greatly.

Clarence John Laughlin was born near the city of Lake Charles, Louisiana, in the southwestern corner of the state on August 10, Thereafter, he worked almost exclusively on personal projects utilizing a wide range of photographic styles and techniques, from straightforward geometric abstractions of architectural features to elaborately staged allegories utilizing models, costumes, and props.

Meek, in this admiring yet clear-eyed biography, makes us see the man behind those melted dreams, appreciate his achievements as well as his shortcomings, in a welcome look at a true New Orleans original. Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Clarence John Laughlin" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License ; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends.

The variety of subjects is testimony to his interests and his ingenuity in promoting his brand of photography to editors and publishers.

These written commentaries on specific images have often been characterized as restrictive, heavy-handed, or unnecessary.

Many historians actually credit him as being the first true surrealist photographer in the United States.

A biography of a New Orleans photographer of worldwide acclaim

Although he dropped out of high school in after having barely completed his freshman year, Laughlin was an educated and highly literate man.

He tried for many years to publish his work, but was largely unsuccessful. The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

Getting around

Laughlin himself was something of a luddite, preferring older photographic equipment, and showing little interest in new technologies as they arrived.

His rocky childhood, southern heritage, and interest in literature influenced his work greatly. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans.

The importance of the written word to Laughlin is evident in another way. This left Laughlin with a deep suspicion of religion that surfaces frequently in his work. The after-the-photographic-fact fine-tuning that Laughlin brought to his work was part of his process.

In letters to his friends, Laughlin, when freed from the conscious directive of creating a caption for a particular image, provides telling commentary on his own work.

He kept careful records to go along with the 17, negatives accompanied by extensive notes on how to print them. The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South.

He kept careful records to go along with the 17, negatives accompanied by extensive notes on how to print them. After losing everything in a failed rice-growing venture inhis family was forced to relocate to New Orleans where Laughlin's father found work in a factory.

Laughlin was devastated when his father diedand his grief was compounded by a Priest's false promise that God would save his ailing parent if he prayed hard enough. Laughlin himself was something of a luddite, preferring older photographic equipment, and showing little interest in new technologies as they arrived.

Thereafter, he worked almost exclusively on personal projects utilizing a wide range of photographic styles and techniques, from straightforward geometric abstractions of architectural features to elaborately staged allegories utilizing models, costumes, and props.

Clarence John Laughlin

Laughlin died on January 2ndleaving behind a massive collection of books and images. The ultimate arrangement occurred in the late s and early s: His previous books include Gettysburg to Vicksburg: I have opened the doors Tulane presented him with an honorary doctorate degree, and the New Orleans Museum of Art gave him a retrospective show with Edward Weston, which validated his stature and importance as an artist.

The permutations sometimes offer a synonym for a key word in the title, and other times they entirely rethink the thrust and direction of the main idea. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor.

He began working as a freelance architectural photographer, then moved on to be employed by such varied agencies as Vogue Magazine and the US government. Early on, Meek says, Laughlin showed his maverick streak.

Disliking the constraints of government work, Laughlin eventually left Vogue after a conflict with then-editor Edward Steichen. Thanks to the 17, negatives that he preserved, his work continues to be shown around the United States and Europe.

Personal and business letters, photographic logbooks, audiotapes of his lectures, and manuscripts of published and unpublished works cover the daily events and transactions, the ebb and flow of personal life, as well as providing valuable insight into his artistic process and intentions.

Legacy[ edit ] Many historians credit Laughlin as being the first true surrealist photographer in the United States. He initially aspired to be a writer and wrote many poems and stories in the style of French symbolismmost of which remained unpublished. He supplemented this income by lecturing about his creative photographic work and theories at colleges and universities throughout the United States; he was also paid for the circulation of a series of traveling exhibitions based on thematic groupings of his work.

Laughlin was an indefatigable correspondent; literally thousands of' letters were examined to extract the quotations that accompany the photographs in this book. In his correspondence, Laughlin was never daunted by his lack of formal education, spotty beyond the grade-school level.

These journeys, invariably by train, could keep him away from New Orleans and his borrowed darkroom for weeks at a time.

Getting around

Clarence John Laughlin ( – 2 January ) was an American photographer best known for his surrealist photographs of the American South. Clarence John Laughlin was an American photographer who was born in Clarence John Laughlin has had numerous gallery and museum exhibitions, including at The Drawing Center and at the Hauser & Wirth, New York, 22nd Street.

Clarence John Laughlin was born near the city of Lake Charles, Louisiana, in the southwestern corner of the state on August 10, While he was still a young boy his family moved to New Orleans, and with the exception of a brief sojourn to New York in the early s and time spent in Washington, D.C., during World War II, he remained a.

A biography of a New Orleans photographer of worldwide acclaim Clarence John Laughlin ( ) of New Orleans is arguably the father of photographic surrealism in America. He was best known for his photographs of old plantation homes and his book, Ghosts along the Mississippi, but his life's work was varied and broad.

Clarence John Laughlin ( – 2 January ) was an American photographer best known for his surrealist photographs of the American South. Biography Early life. Laughlin was born into a middle-class family in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

His rocky childhood, southern heritage, and interest in literature influenced his work greatly. Clarence John Laughlin The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) holds Laughlin's print, negative, and manuscript archive, which it makes available to the public for research.

THNOC acquired the copyright in all of Laughlin's photographs and writings invia transfer from the artist.

A biography of clarence john laughlin an american photographer
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Clarence John Laughlin (Getty Museum)