Walks to the Paradise Garden

$ 45.00

Walks to the Paradise Garden is the last unpublished manuscript of the
late American poet, photographer, publisher, Black Mountain alumnus and
bon viveur Jonathan Williams (1929–2008). This 352-page book chronicles
Williams' road trips across the Southern United States with
photographers Guy Mendes and Roger Manley in search of the most
authentic and outlandish artists the South had to offer. Williams
describes the project thus: "The people and places in Walks to the
Paradise Garden exist along the blue highways of America.… We have
traveled many thousands of miles, together and separately, to document
what tickled us, what moved us, and what (sometimes) appalled us." The
majority of these road trips took place in the 1980s, a pivotal decade
in the development of Southern "yard shows," and many of the artists are
now featured in major institutions. This book, however, chronicles them
at the outset of their careers and provides essential context for their
inclusion in the art historical canon. 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.