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Introduction to the Exhibition-Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings

Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head, department of photographs, National Gallery of Art. For more than forty years, Sally Mann (b. 1951, Lexington, Virginia) has made experimental, elegiac, and hauntingly beautiful photographs—a broad body of work that includes figure studies, still lifes, and landscapes. Offering both a sweeping overview of Mann’s artistic achievement and a focused exploration of the continuing influence of the South on her work,  the exhibition Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings presents some 115 photographs, many of which have not been exhibited or published previously. This powerful and provocative work is organized into five sections: Family, The Land, Last Measure, Abide with Me, and What Remains. On view from March 4 through May 28, 2018, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with essays that explore the development of Mann’s art; her family photographs; the landscape as repository of personal, cultural, and racial memory; and her debt to 19th-century photographers and techniques. Sarah Greenough celebrates the exhibition with this introductory lecture recorded on opening day.