The Face of MinnesotaBook - 2008
“Ducks in a stream, the bridge at St. Anthony Falls, streets of cities and towns, a fish in a net, the glittering lakes seen under low skies. The Face of Minnesota is a fresh, simple, unpretentious statement of a place and time by people who know what Minnesota is because they live there.” —Minor White, Aperture, 1958
“John Szarkowski is the single most important curator that photography has ever had. Looking at his photographs created over the last fifty years makes me want to weep. They are truly American pictures; one feels his desire to show not just what America was but what it still can be.” —Ingrid Sischy, Vanity Fair, 2005
Originally commissioned to commemorate Minnesota’s centennial in 1958 and out of print for nearly forty years, The Face of Minnesota is a lost masterpiece of photography and an eloquent tribute to the people and places of the North Star state. Republished in celebration of the state’s sesquicentennial, this beautifully produced edition includes contemporary essays about John Szarkowski’s impact on American photography and introduces his work to new generations of Minnesotans.
Featuring more than 175 arresting photographs as well as essays filled with wit and affection, The Face of Minnesota opens with this statement: “This book is about Minnesota now. But as a mature man carries on his face and in his bearing the history of his past, so does the look of a place today show its past-what it has been and what it has believed in.” Though Minnesota has changed dramatically during the past fifty years, The Face of Minnesota reveals the simple beauty of the imprint of the past and its deep resonance today.
John Szarkowski (1925–2007) was director of the photography program at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he transformed our understanding of the art of photography through influential exhibitions and books, including Looking at Photographs (1973). In 2005 his work was surveyed in a traveling exhibition, accompanied by the book John Szarkowski: Photographs.
Verlyn Klinkenborg joined the editorial board of the New York Times in 1997. He is the author of several works, including The Rural Life.
Richard Benson has worked as a photographer and printer since 1966. He teaches at Yale University and is the coauthor, with John Szarkowski, of A Maritime Album: 100 Photographs and Their Stories.