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Baltimore Lives

The Portraits of John Clark Mayden

John Clark Mayden

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by local artist John Clark Mayden.

Winner of the Foreword INDIES Award - Photography by the FOREWORD Reviews

Baltimore native John Clark Mayden's photographs are distinctive to the city and specific to black life there, lingering on the front stoops and in the postage-stamp backyards of Charm City row houses. But these pictures are far from nostalgic. Informed by the photographer's deep commitment to both social justice and storytelling, they strip Baltimore of pretense and illusion and show the city's veins.

Baltimore Lives gathers 101 of Mayden's best photographs in print for the first time…

by local artist John Clark Mayden.

Winner of the Foreword INDIES Award - Photography by the FOREWORD Reviews

Baltimore native John Clark Mayden's photographs are distinctive to the city and specific to black life there, lingering on the front stoops and in the postage-stamp backyards of Charm City row houses. But these pictures are far from nostalgic. Informed by the photographer's deep commitment to both social justice and storytelling, they strip Baltimore of pretense and illusion and show the city's veins.

Baltimore Lives gathers 101 of Mayden's best photographs in print for the first time. Taken between 1970 and 2012, these photos illuminate the experiences of life throughout the predominantly African American city, capturing the relaxed intimacy of community, family, and the comfort of home in contrast to the harsh sting of social injustice, poverty, and crime. In Mayden's work, we meet people who are not expecting us. We bear witness to their lives—their emotions, gestures, and faces that often reveal more than they conceal. But regardless of the camera's presence, people go on waiting for the bus, catching a breeze on their front steps, slogging through the snow to work and school, and, every so often, returning the photographer's gaze with a sly grin, a backward glance, a curious frown.

Including a brief biography of John Clark Mayden written by his sister, Ruth W. Mayden, and an essay by art historian Michael Harris on how Mayden's work fits into larger trends of black photography, Baltimore Lives is a stunning visual history of the spatial and human elements that together make Baltimore's inner city.

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Baltimore Lives

John Clark Mayden

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Reviews

Reviews

From portraits to street photography, the connecting line is the richness of the city and its people, and Mayden presents an urban landscape in stunning black and white that any painter might themselves be tempted to capture.

A visual immensity in black and white that renders the stoic grandeur of half a century of everyday Baltimore. Capacious and gifted as a photographer and meticulous as a printmaker, Mayden harvests the soulful, complex interiors of his subjects and refines the gray shades that bind human experience.

In these rich and penetrating photographs, John Clark Mayden captures the beauty and complexity of Baltimore. These works are both intimate and immense; they reveal individual stories and broader histories in ways that obliterate tired media narratives about the city. This is a remarkable collection and should not be missed.

John Clark Mayden's moving photographs capture a slice of urban life over a forty-year period in a complex city represented by symbols of both joy and pain.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
8.5
x
9.5
Pages
128
ISBN
9781421432847
Illustration Description
101 b&w photos
Table of Contents

Foreword, by Winston Tabb
1. John Clark Mayden, by Ruth Mayden
2. Mayden Voyage: Baltimore through the Eyes of John Clark Mayden, by Michael Harris
3. Portraits
A Curator's View, by Gabrielle Dean
Index

Foreword, by Winston Tabb
1. John Clark Mayden, by Ruth Mayden
2. Mayden Voyage: Baltimore through the Eyes of John Clark Mayden, by Michael Harris
3. Portraits
A Curator's View, by Gabrielle Dean
Index of Portraits

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

John Clark Mayden, JD

John Clark Mayden, an attorney in the Baltimore City Solicitor's office for thirty-four years, began photographing urban landscapes and people in 1970. His photographs have been exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum, the University of Pennsylvania's Sharp Gallery, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. In 2008, he was a Syracuse University Artist-in-Residence at Light Work.