Sally Mann ’74, M.A. ’75 is one of America’s most celebrated photographers, and the National Gallery of Art is presenting the first major international exhibition of her photographs of the South.
Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings brings together 115 photographs that offer insight into Mann’s connection with the literature, art, and history of her native region. Many of the photographs in the exhibition, which will be on view in the National Gallery of Art’s West Building in Washington, D.C., from March 4 through May 28, are being shown for the first time.
“In her compelling photographs, Mann uses the personal to allude to the universal, considering intimate questions of family, memory, and death while also evoking larger concerns about the influence of the South’s past on its present,” said National Gallery of Art Director Earl A. Powell, III.
A Thousand Crossings is a five-part exhibition. Family features photographs that Mann took of her three children during the 1980s at their summer cabin on Virginia’s Maury River. Swamplands, fields, and decaying estates that Mann discovered during her travels across Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the 1990s highlight The Land. Civil War battlefields are the focus of Last Measure, and Abide with Me investigates the role of race and history in shaping Virginia’s landscape and Mann’s own childhood and adolescence. The exhibition’s final section, What Remains, touches on themes of time, transformation, and death through photographs of Mann and her family.
“With the acquisition of works from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2014, the National Gallery is now one of the largest repositories of Mann’s photographs,” Powell noted. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work closely with the artist in presenting a wide selection of the work she has created over four decades.”
Mann has won numerous awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts. In 2001 she was named America’s Best Photographer by Time magazine. Her books of photographs include Immediate Family, At Twelve, and Mother Land. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2015, her memoir, Hold Still, was shortlisted for the National Book Award. She is a recipient of the Hollins Distinguished Alumnae Award.
Photo Credit: Betsy Schneider