Sally Mann

Sally Mann is one of the most controversial and renowned American photographers. Born in Virginia in 1951, Mann first picked up a camera in high school. Mann initially worked as a staff photographer at Washington and Lee University. She produced two collections, Second Sight and At 12: Portraits of Young Women, before her most famous collection, Immediate Family, was published in 1992. In Immediate Family, there are 65 black-and-white photographs of Mann’s three children. Most of the photographs were taken at the family’s southern summer cabin that lies along a river. The pictures range from her children (all under the age of ten) playing board games to skinny dipping. The many themes portrayed by her children (sexuality, death, and depression) caused great amounts of controversy. The nudity and serious content of her photographs led to accusations of child pornography. Still, Immediate Family is one of the most respected and praised collections of portrait photography. Since Immediate Family, Mann has produced 5 more collections mostly consisting of landscapes. I personally believe Sally Mann is one of the most talented photographers of all time. Though her photographs portray young children, the pictures render ideas that are extremely mature.  She is represented by the Gagosian Gallery in New York. Her works are found in the permanent collections at museums such as The Met, and The Whitney. Time Magazine named her “America’s Best Photographer” in 2001.


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