Dark Beauty

Photographs of New Mexico

Jack Parsons

Date Published :
September 2014
Publisher :
George F Thompson Publishing
Contributor(s) :
Frederick Turner
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781938086229

Stock Status : In stock


Jack Parsons has been investigating the incredible landscapes, amazing light, and diverse cultures of the American Southwest for more than thirty-five years, in turn becoming a master of photographic art. He has been the photographer for fifteen acclaimed books, including the seminal 1993 publication of Santa Fe Style, which helped to chronicle and establish a regional aesthetic for New Mexico's architecture that is now recognized worldwide. In his commitment to capturing and comprehending the land and life of New Mexico, Parsons has made more than 400,000 photographs of every type of landscape and culture in the 'Land of Enchantment,' as New Mexico is called. Dark Beauty features 100 of his rarely seen or published photographs of New Mexico, taken from the time of his arrival in the summer of 1969 right up to the present day. From captivating images of small towns, fiestas, and everyday life, to spectacular views of mountains, rivers, and plains, from enduring glimpses of old adobe houses, Pueblo villages, and religious structures, to refreshingly new views of murals, Main Streets, and iconography, Parsons presents a personal, elegiac narrative of his 'home place.' Seen as a whole, the photographs in Dark Beauty reveal a deep understanding and reverence for New Mexico's complex and rich history, unique multiculturalism, and unparalleled beauty. With Jack Parsons as our guide, we gain a true sense and appreciation of New Mexico's lure as a uniquely American place. Excerpt: "I first came to New Mexico in the summer of 1969, driving into Taos in the late afternoon in an old VW convertible. I had gone to school in Boulder, and the West had been deeply imprinted on me. My master's thesis was o n D. H. Lawrence, and this had made me wonder what effect this magical land would have on me. It didn't disappoint. Almost immediately, I fell in love with this difficult, demanding, dark, and profound world. All that we take for granted having lived here---the beautiful, slanting afternoon light, the Sangre de Cristos turning a deep red as the sun starts to disappear, sagebrush plains stretching far to the west--all of this greeted me when I first arrived in Taos, and I felt that, after many years, I was finally home."-- Jack Parsons, from his preface "Among the things I admire about the photographs of Jack Parsons is that he is not afraid of the picturesque. He has not retreated from it nor found some arch way around it. Instead, Parsons walks right up to his subjects and points his lens at mountains, sunsets, cloud formations, weathered buildings, and Hispanic art. But he does so in ways that require us to really look at these things and ponder the meanings embedded in those very picturesque aspects of New Mexico that bring visitors out here while they turn many other artists away… It takes an artist to evoke this long and continually unfolding drama, yet in virtually every one of the images contained in these pages it is here for us to discover. But we have to be willing to look past the picturesque." -- Frederick Turner, from his introduction

About The Author

Jack Parsons is a renowned photographer and cinematographer from Santa Fe whose film credits include "The New Range Wars," an Audubon special, "Painted Earth," produced by the Getty Museum of Art in association with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the prize-winning "A Weave of Time," and numerous documentaries on Southwestern art and culture supported by the National Endowment of the Arts. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications, including Actuel, Forbes, Geo, National Geographic magazine and books, and The New York Times, and he has published more than fifteen books of photography on the American Southwest, including the seminal 1993 Santa Fe Style. In 2006, he was honored with the New Mexico Governor's Award for Excellence and Achievement in the Arts.

FREDERICK TURNER is a writer from Santa Fe whose essays and articles have appeared in American Heritage, Evergreen Review, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Nation, New York Times, Outside, Smithsonian, Southern Review, and Wilderness, among others. And he is the author and editor of more than fifteen acclaimed books, including Beyond Geography: The Western Spirit against the Wilderness, Rediscovering America: John Muir in His Time and Ours, Spirit of Place: The Making of an American Literary Landscape, and The Viking Portable North American Indian Reader. He has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts.

More from this publisher