Stone Walls Photography Book by Mariana Cook

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A new photography book Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries by artist Mariana Cook examines in stunning detail one of man's earliest and most enduring methods of defining territories – the stone wall. Sculptural and practical, majestic and humble, the dry stone walls showcased in the book capture a fundamental relationship between human beings and the landscape. The book will be published October 1, 2011.

Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries was conceived by Mariana Cook, the last protege of Ansel Adams, at her home on Martha's Vineyard on the day before Thanksgiving in 2002. After 56 cows strayed through a crumbling section of the stone wall she shares with her neighbor, Cook studied the tumbled wall and was struck by its beauty. With that inspiration, Cook spent eight years traveling to farms, towns, and temples in Peru, Great Britain, Ireland, the Mediterranean, New England, and Kentucky in pursuit of dry stone walls.

Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries | Photographs By Mariana Cook
(Damiani, $50, 192 pages, ISBN 978-88-6208-169-6)

The striking black-and-white photographs portray the wall in landscape, the wall in abstract form, and the return of rocks to nature. Cook is fascinated with the juxtaposition of stones and geometric composition, as well as with the resonance among walls of different cultures. The walls were photographed by Cook between 2002 and 2010 and were built as early as 3600 B.C.

Dry stone walls – those constructed without the use of mortar with stones skillfully selected and placed to ensure strength and durability – are slowly falling into disrepair or being removed from the landscape. A portion of the proceeds from the book will benefit The Dry Stone Conservancy in Lexington, Kentucky, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving historic dry stone structures in Kentucky's world-famous Bluegrass landscape and to developing a national center for training and expertise.

Work by Mariana Cook is included in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; and the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, among others. Her previous publications include the acclaimed portrait books: Fathers and Daughters, Mothers and Sons, Generations of Women, Couples, Faces of Science, and Mathematicians.


scott davidson 12 November 2012 at 01:14  

I had fun choosing this particular painting online that now hangs in my downtown office, from, who sells canvas prints of art masterpieces. While the original is treasured in some art museum in England, my print, of this painting by Edward Burne-Jones is very much appreciated by my staff and clients. The print quality is really excellent.

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