A follow-up to her successful 2015 book The Meadow, this project focuses on Boston-based photographer Barbara Bosworth’s images of the moon, sun and sky. Made over the past several years with an 8×10 camera, the star images are hour-long exposures with the camera mounted on a clock drive. The sun and moon images are made with a telescope attached to her camera.
Speaking of her inspiration for these images, Bosworth writes: “Every clear night of the summer my father would go out for a walk
to look at the night sky. Many nights I would join him. We knew the North Star, and the Big Bear, but the rest became our own. At times we stood still for an hour or more to watch for shooting stars. We had no agenda. It was all about amazement at a sky full of stars. With this sense of wonder, I began making photographs of the Heavens. In these days of the Hubble Telescope and its spec- tacular imagery from deep space, I wanted a reminder of the mystery of our own night sky.”
The book also includes facsimile editions of three artist’s books that Bosworth has made as a nod to Galileo’s 17th-century publications in which he first observed the skies through a telescope.
Emily Dickinson wrote that all it takes to make a prairie is “one clover, and a bee. / And revery.” It turns out that to know a prairie (or meadow) is a bit more complicated, as photographer Barbara Bosworth and writer Margot Anne Kelley have discovered. For more than a decade, Bosworth and Kelley have meandered in, studied and photographed a single meadow in Carlisle, Massachusetts. In addition to their own investigations, they have invited botanists, entomologists, naturalists and historians to consider the meadow with them. Also included are historic maps of the property dating to the 1800s, and a transcription of notes from a former owner whose family has continuously documented plant and bird life in the meadow from 1931 until the 1960s.
Part photo-essay, part journal and part scientific study, this book is a meditation on the shifting perspective that occurs when one repeatedly sees the same place through new eyes.
"This beautifully produced book, which examines a small plot of meadow, is a real gem. From misty autumnal landscapes to spring flowers, all seasons are celebrated. These images are supplemented with a fine text, assorted inventories and thorough appendixes of things like what birds were spotted with their dates. It is very reassuring that one small plot can be so lovingly explored and it is the thoroughness of this that makes this book so compelling."
- Martin Parr
TIME Best Photobooks 2016
Over the last 20 years, renowned Boston artist Barbara Bosworth (born 1953) has taken photographs of her family in and around her childhood home in Novelty, Ohio. Natural Histories takes us on a meandering journey through the forests and streams of Bosworth’s past in the Chagrin River Valley, as she retraces her youthful walks to reengage the sense of wonder at the landscape instilled by her father. She remembers, “Our explorations were slow and quiet meanders, as my father proclaimed the joys of looking at the natural world we passed through. On these walks I learned to love being in nature.”
These lush black-and-white photographs made with an 8 x 10 camera reveal a place Bosworth knows well: a place in which to dig up arrowheads, pluck clusters of blackberries, catch fireflies and savor the textures of nature. Featuring the youngest as well as the oldest members of Bosworth’s family, these images explore the joy of youth and the wistfulness of aging, memory, and the passage of time.
Trees: National Champions
Bosworth captures the ineffable grace and dignity of trees with clarity and directness: the green ash that shades a midwestern crossroads, the common pear that blooms in a Washington field, and the Florida strangler fig with its mass of entwining aerial roots. Her photographs, panoramic views taken with an 8 x 10 camera, show the immensity of the largest species and the hidden triumphs of the smallest. Some trees are dethroned each year because of sickness or destruction, but more often simply because a new and bigger specimen is discovered; only three trees from the original Register in 1940 are still living today. Bosworth's 70 photographs of champion trees are not only a collection of tree portraits but the story of an American adventure as well.
A co-publication with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson.