by Mike disfarmer



Heber Springs Portraits 1939-1946 by Mike Disfarmer.

Second edition (1996).

Medium format hardback in fine condition.

Please note the book is brand new and unread, removed from shrink wrap only to be photographed, however, there are slight markings to dust jacket.

Dust jacket in a removable protective sleeve.

About 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 These photographs, many unpublished or rarely seen, underscore his uniquely American vision of place.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.

About Mike Disfarmer

The eccentric photographer known as Disfarmer (1884-1959) seemed to be a man determined to shroud himself in mystery. Firstly, he was born Mike Meyers, the sixth of seven children in a German immigrant family. Disfarmer rejected the Arkansas farming world and the family in which he was raised. He even claimed at one point in his life that a tornado had lifted him up from places unknown and deposited him into the Meyers family. In time Mike expressed his discontent with his family and farming by changing his name to Disfarmer. In modern German "meier" means dairy farmer. Therefore, since he thought of himself as neither a "Meyer" nor a "farmer," Mike Meyer became "dis"- farmer. Perhaps, it was his desire to break free of his Arkansas roots that led him to photography. He taught himself how to shoot and develop photographs, and he soon set up a studio on the back porch of his mother's house in Heber Springs, Arkansas.

Related Links

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More books by Mike Disfarmer here.

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