April 9, 2010 O'Sullivan's Survey Photographs of American West Subject of Book Talk

“Framing the American West” Highlights Images of American Frontier

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

The image of the American West persists as one of the nation’s most enduring cultural symbols, and few photographers have captured more compelling images of the American frontier than Timothy H. O’Sullivan.

The work of O’Sullivan, much of whose work is in the collections of the Library of Congress, is presented in “Framing the West: The Survey Photographs of Timothy H. O’Sullivan” (Yale University Press, in association with the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2010). This lavishly illustrated volume is the subject of a discussion and signing by three of its four authors, Toby Jurovics, Carol Johnson and Will Stapp (the other is Glenn Willumson), at noon on Wednesday, April 28, in Dining Room A, sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. The Center for the Book is sponsoring the program as part of its Books & Beyond author series, in collaboration with the Prints & Photographs Division.

The book accompanies an exhibition of the same name at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Eighth and F Sts. N.W., on view through May 9. A symposium will be held in conjunction with the exhibition on Friday, April 9, from 2 to 7 p.m. in the McEvoy Auditorium at the American Art Museum. The event is free and open to the public; no registration is required.

"Framing the West," a 272-page hardback book with 151 images, is available for $60 from the Library of Congress Sales Shop (www.loc.gov/shop/) or by calling (888) 682-3557. It is also available in bookstores nationwide and online.

Trained under the famous Civil War-era photographers Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, O’Sullivan accompanied two government surveys of the West in the 1860s and 1870s with geologist Clarence King and Lt. George M. Wheeler. While on these journeys, O’Sullivan produced photographs that exhibit a forthright and rigorous style formed in response to the landscapes he encountered. Sullivan created a body of work without precedent in its visual and emotional complexities.

“Framing the American West” is also the subject of a discussion on Facebook. The new Books & Beyond Book Club is available at www.facebook.com/booksandbeyond/. Here readers can discuss books by authors who have appeared or will appear in this series. The site also offers links to webcasts of these events and asks readers to talk about what they have just seen and heard.

The Center for the Book (www.loc.gov/cfbook/) was established by Congress in 1977 "to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to promote books, reading, literacy and libraries." With its many educational programs that reach readers of all ages, through its support of the National Book Festival and through its dynamic state centers in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Center for the Book has developed a nationwide network of organizational partners dedicated to promoting the wonders and benefits of reading. The center also oversees the new Read.gov website, with its exclusive "Exquisite Corpse Adventure" serialized story.


PR 10-072
ISSN 0731-3527