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Mike Disfarmer



Heber Springs Portraits 1939-1946

In Heber Springs, a reclusive photographer known simply as "Disfarmer" created an uncanny record of American rural life during the 1930s and 1940s. Working out of his modest studio, Disfarmer created portraits which are direct and unpretentious. Disfarmer's portraits of cotton farmers, tradesmen, soldiers home on leave, and the extended families that made up this rural community, reveal a common bond that is rapidly disappearing in the United States. They are bold portraits, and sometimes confrontational, yet they show his sitter's humble grace and small-town charm. Handed down through generations and found today in the family albums of this community, Disfarmer's portraits are emblematic of the post-Depression era. These photographs, many unpublished or rarely seen, underscore his uniquely American vision of place.

For this monograph of Disfarmer’s work, Jack Woody returned to the surviving glass-plate negatives, choosing approximately 200 for this book. A set of contact prints were made from the glass plates, and the book was printed on a sheet-fed gravure press in Kyoto, Japan. Gravure gives the images a richness and depth that evokes their time and place.


These first edition copies from our archive are as-new in the original shrink-wrap.

twin palms publishers
october 1996
7 x 10 inches
182 gravure plates
280 pages

isbn: 978-0-944092-38-5

Regular price $85.00
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