Picturing the South: 25 Years


Picturing the South: 25 Years


Swamp and Pipeline, Geismar, Louisiana

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Object Details


Richard Misrach, American, born 1949


negative 1998, printed 2000


Dye coupler print


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Commissioned with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust and Lucinda W. Bunnen

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Image Copyright

(c) Richard Misrach 1998


Renowned for his contemporary landscapes of the American West, Misrach received a commission from the High for its “Picturing the South” initiative in 1998. He chose to photograph the highly industrialized section of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans known as Cancer Alley. In the tradition of his Western landscapes, Misrach’s “Picturing the South” photographs may seduce a viewer with the beauty of their compositions and richness of color, but they also challenge us to consider the consequences of our abuse of the environment. Misrach describes Cancer Alley as a “remarkable corridor of historic, cultural, and natural resources, which in the past decades has been virtually decimated by the introduction of the petro-chemical industry. Alongside restored and potentially restorable classic antebellum plantations sit over 136 behemoth industrial sites—a bizarre juxtaposition of the charming and the horrific.”