Saturday, May 17, 2014


Photographer Carol M. Highsmith creates vernacular visual snippets of American life and scenery for the Library of Congress. These are some of her California pictures, officially documenting the state's appearance from top to bottom at the beginning of the 21st century.

Highsmith never discriminates. The same flat gaze takes in a bars and amusement parks, court houses and park benches, porn theaters, office buildings, wig shops.

The seahorse and jellyfish from Monterey Bay Aquarium are for Mabel. Also for Mabel is the olden-days storybook pastiche of a cottage immediately below (one of the lesser-known landmarks of Beverly Hills  and one which her cousins in L.A. will no doubt show to her some day in real life).

The sequence ends with the arrival of a rainstorm across a broad plain near Stockton.