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William Albert Allard - Portraits of America
In the preface to an unforgettable chapter, "A View of the Blues" in American Portrait, William Albert Allard writes, "If I had not become a photographer and a writer, I think I'd be a musician." If the images have anything to say, that seems entirely possible. Rarely has the hard, soulful, human, moving beauty of music been so lovingly portrayed. A pioneer of color photography for more than 50 years, Allard is a self-proclaimed "photographer of the people." His photography exudes warmth and narrative. They capture the essence of a place around the edges of a scene. William Albert Allard began his career at National Geographic where he worked many decades traveling widely and producing some of the magazines most memorable images. He has also as been a contributor to Magnum Photos. But color - and words - are his musical lexicon. Nowhere do these come together as luminously as in Portraits of America (National Geographic, 2008. 256 pages). His images blend the timeliness of Cartier-Bresson, the composition of Eliot Porter and the stark elegance of Eugene Smith. His work is a national treasure of beauty.
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