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Small Town South
by David Wharton

Winner of the 2013 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Photography.

Since 1983 David Wharton has photographed the twelve states that define the American South, focusing his attention on rural and small town culture, vernacular architecture and landscape, the role of religion in Southern life, and the relationship between Southerners, their natural surroundings, and the communities they have built. Small Town South is the result of Wharton's extensive travels throughout the region.

No other photographer has devoted so much time and attention to recording this distinctive American place. The author's 116 duotone photographs, combined with his insightful text, convey an overall sense of what the small Southern town looks like at the turn of the twenty-first century. Wharton organizes his study into thematic portfolios that visually address themes such as decline and renewal on Main Street, the intersection of tradition and modernity, local commemorations of the past, the omnipresence of the church in town life, the difficulties of making a living in the New World economy, the display of public murals and memorials, and the iconographic unfolding of community values.

Many have likened Wharton's photographic eye and approach to the work of other photographic masters of the South, including Walker Evans, Eudora Welty, William Christenberry, Shelby Lee Adams, and Mike Smith. Just as we turn and return to those artists in reckoning with Southern history and culture, so, too, can we now look to David Wharton as a new pioneer photographer of the small town South in all its simplicity and complexity.

Click here to read the four-star review from Amazon, along with other praise.

$50.00 U.S. (trade discount) No e-book has been authorized.
Hardcover with jacket
160 pages with 116 duotone photographs by the author
11.0" x 9.0" landscape/horizontal
ISBN: 978-1–938086–09–0

Published in Fall 2012

Distributed by Casemate/IPM
No e-book has been authorized.

This is the first book in Wharton's Trilogy of the American South (2021), ISBN 978-1-938086-90-8 (click for details)

About the Author

Book Events and Exhibitions:
November 10 - December 13, 2015
Opening reception: November 13
Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center, Ocean Springs, MS
Exhibition: Places People Make: ‪‎Photographs‬ from the ‎American South‬

June 8, 2013
Mississippi University for Women, Columbus, MS
Public talk and book signing

April 4, 2013
University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa
Public talk and book signing (click for pdf of poster)

March 1, 2013
Black Swan Rare Books, Staunton, VA
Presentation and book signing

David Wharton showed and talked about his photographs from his book, Small Town South, at Black Swan Books in downtown Staunton. This event concluded David's three-day book tour that included other lectures and book signings at Virginia Military Institute, the Spencer Center at Mary Baldwin College, and Bridgewater College. Photograph by Haley Ellen Thompson.

February 28, 2013
Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, VA
A conversation with the author in the Spencer Center for Civic and Global Environment in the Wenger Building (click for pdf poster)

February 27, 2013
Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA
A lecture and book signing at Virginia Military Institute in the Turman Room of Preston Library, sponsored by the Dean's Academic Speakers Fund (click for pdf poster)

November 27, 2012
Square Books in Oxford, MS
Book signing

March 27—April 26, 2012
Lecture and reception: April 26, 2012
Missouri State University, Springfield, MO
Brick City Gallery, 215 West Mill Street
Exhibition: Photographs of the American South

Book Information Sheet (pdf)


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