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Sally Mann (American, b.b.1951)


Sally Mann was born Sally Turner Munger in May of 1951 in Lexington, Virginia. The youngest of three and the only daughter, she became a renowned photographic artist. She developed an interest in photography while attending Putney School in the 1960s. Her father encouraged her using large 5 x 7 cameras, which became the origin of her using large format cameras.

Her earliest work was photographing the law school building at Washington and Lee University in the 1970s. She photographed her family, especially her young children, in the 1990s. This led to controversy since some photos featured nudity. In the mid 1990s she began photographing Southern landscapes, including those in Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Landscape photos were done using a process called wet plate. This created eerie, memorable images. She published two books in 1997 and 1999 of southern landscapes. Her sixth book, published in 2005 included images such as battlefields, landscapes covered in Kudzu and mansions in decaying states.

Married to Larry for over 40 years, they have three children. Emmett, born in 1979, Jessie, born in 1981 and Virginia, born in 1985. Some of Sally's photographic work focuses on family in various life stages. Her husband, diagnosed 15 years ago with muscular dystrophy, was her most recent photographic subject.

Awards include those from the National Endowment For Arts, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and an honorary Doctorate of fine arts from Corcoran College. She was also named Time Magazine's best photographer in 2001. Her works have appeared in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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