Sally Mann

Sally Mann is an American photographer best known for her portraits of her children and for landscapes that reference death and decay. Born in Lexington, Virginia Mann began taking photographs using her father’s 5×7 camera when she was attending the Putney School in 1969. In her early career she took photographs for Washington and Lee University, which led to a first solo exhibition 1977 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. A second series, At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women attracted controversy and interest, but it was her third series Immediate Family, which has garnered the most critical attention for this artist. This series is comprised of 65 black and white images of her children, all under the age of 10, and touch of themes of typical childhood activity, as well as broader and darker themes such as insecurity and death. Mann has been criticized both in the US and abroad for a perceived pornographic element of her work, as it includes nude images of the young children. Mann argued that the images were seen through the eyes of a mother, a response that critics agreed with. In her later career Mann has continued to use her original 8×10 camera, as well as a wet plate collodion 8×10 glass negatives technique. Subjects of her later series have included landscape, decomposition and her husband’s muscular dystrophy.