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American Inspiration Author Series

Robert Sullivan with Double Exposure

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Date and time
Monday, July 15, 2024

Timothy O'Sullivan is one of America’s most famous war photographers. His image A Harvest of Death, taken at Gettysburg, is an icon of the Civil War.  He also photographed the American West. Now writer Robert Sullivan shows us the artist’s life and work, the history of photography and our country, as he follows O’Sullivan’s path on his own personal exploration of the West.

O'Sullivan was among the first photographers to elevate the trade of photography to the status of fine art. The images of the American West he made while traveling with the surveys led by Clarence King and George Wheeler display a prescient awareness of what photography would become. At the same time, we know very little about O'Sullivan the man and landscapes he captured.

Robert Sullivan’s Double Exposure sets off in pursuit of these two enigmas. This book documents the author’s own road trip across the West in search of the places, many long forgotten or paved over, that O'Sullivan pictured. It also shows how changes to our country and its landscape were already under way in the 1860s and '70s, and how these changes were a continuation of the Civil War.

Author Photo - Robert Sullivan - credits to Eric Etheridge.jpg
Robert Sullivan is known for his probing investigations of place in the pages of The New Yorker and previous books such as Rats, The Meadowlands, A Whale Hunt, and My American Revolution. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, A Public Space, and Vogue.

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