Since the moment William Ferris’s parents gave their twelve-year-old son a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera for Christmas in 1954, Ferris passionately began to photograph his world. He has never stopped. The sixties and seventies were a particularly significant period for Ferris as he became a pathbreaking documentarian of the American South. This beautiful, provocative collection of Ferris’s photographs of the South, taken during this formative period, capture the power of his color photography. Color film, as Ferris points out in the book’s introduction, was not commonly used by documentarians during the latter half of the twentieth century, but Ferris found color to work in significant ways in the photographic journals he created of his world in all its permutations and surprises.
Ferris was born and raised on his family's farm in Vicksburg, Mississippi. William Ferris is Joel R. Williamson Eminent Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Fischer Galleries is pleased and honored to show this collection of photographs by this outstanding Mississippian.