Southern Gothic History

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Southern Gothic is a term used to describe the grotesque feeling of the South. When portraying “Southern Gothic” in photography we see the South in a way that others do not imagine. They include darkness, landscapes, churches, graveyards, moss and water; everything that makes up the south. These pictures depict the social issues and cultural character of the American South. There is deep history in the south that has stayed around to haunt the future. artists and photographers are depicting the haunted past of southern traditions such as slavery that many tried to cover. A recurring theme seen in most southern Gothic photographs is black and white coloring, spanish moss, lonely plantations, dusty downtowns, slave quarters and southern charm…show more content…
In 1936, walker evans produced a photograph named “Alabama Tenant Farmer”. During this time Walker Evans and another man named James Agee traveled to Alabama and spent weeks with tenant farmers and their families while photographing their daily lifestyle during the great depression. The photographed the faces, bedrooms, clothing and worklife of these people. They wanted to show the public how these tenant farmers lived. In 1941, a book known as Let Us Now Praise Famous Men showed the photographs that were taken during their time spent on the farm. Walker Evans was a photojournalist so these photographs that he was producing were for documentation and for people to see in order to show the truth of what others were experiencing during the great depression. This photograph was published in books and magazines and later museums in order to reach out to the public eye of how to great depression was affecting different people in the world, it opened up people 's eyes to other sides of the story. Evans took this photograph from a front on point of view and the man is looking directly into the camera so we can see the sadness in his eyes. Walker evans was photographing the same thing for weeks while he was on the farm in the hopes of documenting these families lives. Before he traveled here he was commonly known for photographing roadside architecture, rural churches, small…show more content…
Another famous photograph named Sally Mann also dabbled in the idea of southern gothics. one photograph she took was named “Easter Dress” of her daughter in 1986. Sally Mann got her name by photographing her children. Some thought that her photographs were “disturbing” because they usually included her children in the nude, but what people saw as disturbing, Mann saw as beautiful. Mann would mostly take pictures of her children on their farm in Virginia, so the fact that they were in the nude did not bother her. She then began photographing other girls in Lexington. Mann wanted to show what others did not, “she wanted to catch the tension in their bodies, eyes and gestures as they passed into the confused state when girls become women” (Richard). Some believed that she was posing her subject when in fact she was happening to catch them at the perfect times. It 's said that this dress once belonged to Sally Mann and she passed it down to her daughter, Jessie, in the photograph. Maan took her photographs for the public eye, she did it for the enjoyment of others. She took this photograph with a front view directly facing her daughter. Mann was constantly photographing her children on their farm and this was part of that series. She loved to see the innocence of her children and being able to capture their true lives on the farm. her main priority is relating this to the viewer through her photographs of younger children. This photograph and others taken by sally Mann are
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