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Walks to the Paradise Garden: A Lowdown Southern Odyssey

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Walks to the Paradise Garden: A Lowdown Southern Odyssey

Edited by Phillip March Jones. Text by Jonathan Williams. Photographs by Roger Manley, Guy Mendes.

Walks to the Paradise Garden is the last unpublished manuscript of the late American poet, photographer, publisher & Black Mountain alumnus Jonathan Williams (1929–2008). This 352-page book chronicles Williams' road trips in the 1980s across the Southern U.S. with photographers Guy Mendes and Roger Manley in search of the most authentic and outlandish artists the South had to offer. Taking its name from the famous artwork by Howard Finster, Walks to the Paradise Garden brings to light rare images and stories of Southern artists and creators who existed in near anonymity during the last half of the 20th century. Organized in chapters devoted to each artist, the book features Banner Blevins, Henry Dorsey, Sam Doyle, Howard Finster, Lonnie Holley, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Sister Gertrude Morgan, William C. Owens, Vollis Simpson, Edgar Tolson and Jeff Williams, among many others.

Published by Institute 193, 2019

6.5 x 9.25", hardcover

325 pages


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