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Wright Morris

The distinguished author of over thirty novels and volumes of short stories, essays, and criticism, Wright Morris was also a gifted photographer. A pioneer in the 1930s of what he termed the “photo-text,” Morris combined his skills as a writer and photographer, joining pictures with short, lyrical passages of prose that were related in spirit, but were in no way illustrative or interpretive. The beauty and significance of his photo-text experiments, as well as their role in capturing and preserving America’s vernacular past, have resonated throughout American arts and letters for over fifty years, and have influenced not only such artists as the young Robert Frank and Robert Adams, but also Paul Strand, whose 1950 publication, Time in New England, combined photographs by Strand and texts selected by Nancy Newhall to capture the character of the region. Morris made his last photographic trip in 1952, and for the next twenty years devoted himself exclusively to writing. He reexamined his earlier photographic work in 1968, when he published God’s Country and My People. In 1972 he published Love Affair – A Venetian Journal, featuring color photographs taken during his visits to Venice, accompanied by texts.