Summertime photo book by Joanne Dugan

© Micheal McLaughlin
Courtesy of Robin Rice Gallery

Where did the idea for Summertime come about?

I was approached by my publisher, with whom I had worked on two other books, to curate this project. I have a large body of work that was created over many years during the summertime, in various locales on or near the water, and this informed everything I did in terms of the curation. I looked at many, many thousands of photographs while editing this project, and the final 83 images were narrowed down from more than 3000. It was a formidable and humbling process and a collaborative effort with both my editor and the designer of the book. There was a lot of back and forth about what we thought worked best in terms of telling a personal, yet universal Summertime story.

Where are the shots mostly taken?

I made a point of wanting to show viewpoints of summer from many different locales. The definitions of summertime are so varied and I worked to create an experience that was universal. One way of doing this was by choosing images from so many different locations, and by approaching it this way, I wanted inspire readers to think about their own experiences in a new way. Many of the photographs were taken in the United States, including Hawaii, but there are also images taken in the UK, Taiwan, Portugal and France. In terms of the curation, it was less about where the images were specifically taken, and more about the feelings that were conveyed in the individual images and how they all worked together.

Were many of the photographers women?

I feel honoured to have been able to include the beautiful work of so many other photographers in this book, as Summertime is a subject whose story is best told by many. Some are already well known in photography circles, but all deserve greater exposure. The images are not quick snapshots, but instead are the result of a refined and constant practice. I believe this is perhaps why the book seems to resonate for so many people.  I never thought about whether the images were from a male or a female and learned something by considering your question, which is that more than half of the images in the book were made by women. I never consciously realised this fact until you asked. The women involved were Katie Baum, Janet Beller, Lynda Churilla, Kelli Connell, Yolanda Edwards, Miriam Finkelman, Tria Giovan, Dorie Hagler, Cig Harvey, Jayne Hinds Bidaut, Thayer Allyson Gowdy, Rachel Hulin, Georgia Kokolis, Liz Kuball, Valerie Yong Ock Kim, Eliza Lamb, Clare O’Neill, Robin Rice, Blair Seagram, Donna J. Wan and myself.


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