Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace

Martha A. Sandweiss, Author, Laura Gilpin, Photographer A. Carter Museum $75 (339p) ISBN 978-0-88360-077-1
Laura Gilpin (18911979) was a perfectionistic photographer. She would make several trips to capture a particular quality of sunlight on a mesa or a Navaho woman's face. Though she did not set out to document the Navahos' and Pueblos' endangered way of life, her sometimes romantic pictures of the American Southwest, its peoples and landscapes, form an enduring record of Indian culture, reflecting Native Americans' strong family ties and spiritual oneness with the land. Her photographs' formal perfection and deeply moving impact come through in 167 superb full-page reproductions in tritone, color and duotone. For decades Gilpin subsisted on commercial assignments while pursuing her craft and caring for the woman with whom she shared her life. Real success came only in the 1970s. This sumptuously produced biographyphoto study complements a Texas exhibition which will tour nationwide. As Sandweiss shows, Gilpin's personal circumstancesher wandering childhood, material scarcity, her family's ambiguous status in Colorado Springshelp explain her deep identification with American Indians. (March 17)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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