By Neely Tucker, The Washington Post
Washington, D.C.—As photo assignments go, it's a doozy: Spend 16 years capturing the disappearing highways, byways, buildings, barns, lighthouses, baseball games and bake-offs that define American life as we know it, then salt it away for posterity in the world's largest library.
Of course, your assignment also requires that you raise your own funds, provide your own travel—and, oh yes—donate all of your work, copyright-free, for eternity.
This is the unorthodox and stunning task Washington-based photographer Carol M. Highsmith has set herself, embarking on a 50-state tour to capture timeless images for a permanent collection in the Library of Congress...
READ ON at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune*
(Thanks to MM)
UPDATE: After a lively debate about architecture behind the scenes here, it appears that the Library of Congress caption for the second picture above is just plain wrong. The photo in fact shows the famous Kaufmann Desert House, designed by architect Richard Neutra and commissioned by Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar Kaufmann, the same client who commissioned Fallingwater from Frank Lloyd Wright.
It is therefore not one of the 2,200 homes built by the Alexander Construction Co. that are still known in Palm Springs as "Alexanders." In fact, to help build the house, Neutra flew in some of the same stonemasons who had worked on Fallingwater.
The Kaufmann Desert House was made famous in part by this moody evening photograph (below) taken by the eminent architectural photographer Julius Schulman in 1947, the year the house was first occupied.
The house, still a private residence, was owned in the past by singer Barry Manilow and San Diego Chargers owner Eugene V. Klein. It was largely restored to its original form in the 1990s by then-owners Brent and Beth Edwards Harris, the latter an architectural historian.
(Thanks to Roni for helping sort this out.)
UPDATE #2: Roni contacted Carol Highsmith, who responded immediately and said that the caption will be changed. "Thank you for pointing it out," she wrote. "We have all been so busy getting this huge project off the ground that a few things have slipped through the cracks."
*Normally we make every reasonable effort to link to the original source for an article, but Washington Post articles are behind a registration wall and can't be linked to directly.
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.