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Clarence John Laughlin

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Clarence John Laughlin

American, (1905–1985)
Clarence John Laughlin was an American photographer best known for his surrealist photographs of the American South. Laughlin discovered photography when he was 25 and taught himself how to use a simple 2½ by 2¼ view camera. He began working as a freelance architectural photographer and was subsequently employed by agencies as varied as Vogue magazine and the US government. Disliking the constraints of government work, Laughlin eventually left Vogue after a conflict with then-editor Edward Steichen. Thereafter, he worked almost exclusively on personal projects utilizing a wide range of photographic styles and techniques, from simple geometric abstractions of architectural features to elaborately staged allegories utilizing models, costumes, and props. His most well known works focus on New Orleans. His photobook Ghosts Along the Mississippi: The Magic of the Old Houses of Louisiana was first published in 1948. The book features 100 black and white images of photographs that are focused around the architecture of the south during the plantation era.

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