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    Pictures from a Drawer: Prison and the Art of Portraiture (Paperback) By (author) Bruce Jackson

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    DescriptionFor more than forty years Bruce Jackson has been documenting - in books, photographs, audio recording and film - inmates' lives in American prisons. In November 1975, he acquired a collection of old ID photos while he was visiting the Cummins Unit, a state prison farm in Arkansas. They are published together for the first time in this remarkable book. The 121 images that appear here were taken between 1915 and 1940. As Jackson describes in an absorbing introduction, the function of these photos was not portraiture - their function was to 'fold a person into the controlled space of a dossier'. Here, freed from their prison 'jackets', and printed at sizes far larger than their originals, these one-time ID photos have now become portraits. Jackson's restoration transforms what were small bureaucratic artifacts into moving images of real men and women. "Pictures from a Drawer" also contains an extraordinary description of everyday life at Cummins prison in the 1950s, written originally by hand and presented to Jackson in 1973 by its author, a long-time inmate.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Pictures from a Drawer

    Pictures from a Drawer
    Prison and the Art of Portraiture
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Bruce Jackson
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 192
    Width: 178 mm
    Height: 251 mm
    Thickness: 18 mm
    Weight: 590 g
    ISBN 13: 9781592139491
    ISBN 10: 1592139493

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 25830
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1KBB
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: PHO
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T1.4
    LC subject heading:
    BIC subject category V2: AJ, AC
    B&T General Subject: 625
    Ingram Subject Code: AP
    Libri: I-AP
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BISAC V2.8: PHO016000, SOC030000
    Ingram Theme: GEOG/ARKANS
    BISAC V2.8: PHO004000
    BIC subject category V2: 1KBB
    BISAC V2.8: PHO005000
    DC22: 779/.936560975
    LC classification: TR681.P69 J33 2009
    LC subject heading: , ,
    DC22: 779.93656097, 779.936561
    Thema V1.0: AJ, AGA
    Thema geographical qualifier V1.0: 1KBB
    Illustrations note
    33 Halftones, 121 Duotones
    Temple University Press,U.S.
    Imprint name
    Temple University Press,U.S.
    Publication date
    08 April 2009
    Publication City/Country
    Philadelphia PA
    Review quote
    "I'm intrigued by the portraits of these prisoners. What were their lives like? Did they all come from poverty? Their expressions of wonderment, tragedy, and even amusement fascinate me. I want to know their whole life stories: How long did they live? Did they die in prison? What terrible act did they commit to become a prisoner? These pictures all speak to me of another time not only because of the way the people are dressed, but also because of the direct simplicity and innocence of the images. Today, when so many photographs are altered and manipulated, the honesty and reality of these images make them stand out as powerful and true portraiture for all time." Mary Ellen Mark "The absorbing opening chapters discuss everything from the nature and history of portraiture, to his trips to the prison, to the technical details of how he restored the photos without compromising what had happened to the prints over time. The faces in the photos, these pictures from a drawer, are haunting."-Foreword magazine, May/June 2009 "This book does not chronicle the lives, deeds, and misdeeds of the people shown in the 'portraits.' The people in the photos are numbered, remaining unnamed, and perhaps, rightly so. It is largely a pictorial book, with an essay on how the pictures were created and how they have come to be compiled. The essential thing, as we look in to [the] eyes of each subject, in the facial personification of their incarceration, is the utter honesty of portrayal." Sacramento Book Review, June 2009 "[T]his outstanding book makes the most of the 178 photographs that [Jackson] stuffed into his pockets thirty-four years ago. Pictures from a Drawer is part philosophical discourse on the meaning of photography, part technical treatise on the restoration and digitization of photographic prints, and part expose of the horrors of prison life (in the form of a memoir handwritten by a longtime inmate and presented to Jackson in 1973). However, what most strongly draws the reader into the book are the full-page portraits of prisoners, which Jackson has sensitively restored and contextualized. Indeed, Jackson has no peer when it comes to documenting and analyzing the folklife of prisons." Western Folklore, Vol. 70, No. 3/4, Summer/Fall 2011
    Table of contents
    1. Pictures from a Drawer; 2. Restoring the Eyes; 3. Size; 4. Dating the Images; 5. The Women; 6. Portraits; 7. Seeing People; 8. The Order of Things; 9. Mirrors; II.; Images; Appendix: Cooter's Yellow Pad