Go on an American Road Trip with the World’s Greatest Photographers

Claire, 8th Ward, 2012   Courtesy Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery, New York    Justine Kurland

“Our country is made for long trips,” the photographer Stephen Shore once mused, a statement proven true in The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip published by Aperture next month.

As its writer David Campany explains, the idea of the road as a place of freedom and discovery has been with us for years. In fact, it was the 19th-century poet Walt Whitman who gave us the admiring phrase “the open road.”

For photographers, perhaps the most mobile of all artists, the road is a natural home.

The first masterpiece of the road trip genre was Walker Evans’ 1938 MoMA exhibit and book “American Photographs.” Made over the course of a decade of travel across the eastern half of the US, it is a plain-spoken but quietly artful statement about everyday people, architecture and signage during a time of hardship.

In its early years, the possibilities of the road seemed endless. “Futurama: Highways and Horizons”, an exhibit at the 1939 New York World’s Fair (financed by General Motors), envisioned a utopia where workers zipped along mega-highways between the industrious city and the sparkling suburbs.

To read the rest of the storyn& see the Photo-Gallery, follow this link.  http://lightbox.time.com/2014/09/24/road-trip-america-photobook/?xid=newsletter-photos-weekly#15

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