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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Creative Photography and Wales

The Legacy of W. Eugene Smith in the Valleys

Creative Photography and Wales explores the photographic tradition in Wales through the work of American photojournalist Eugene Smith’s work in Wales in the 1950s. Smith is regarded as a master of the photo essay and one of the most significant photographers of the twentieth century, and his photographs, set in the context of the work of photographers who shot the region in subsequent years—including those engaged in the “Valleys Project” during the 1980s—help us understand the ways in which twentieth century photography fixed an image of Wales, one that still resonates today.

153 pages | 16 halftones | 7 x 9 1/2 | © 2012

Art: Photography

History: European History

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“Using W. Eugene Smith as a pivot, Paul Cabots constructs a panoramic history of photography in south Wales. His Wales is a cosmopolitan site accommodating natives, immigrants, and visitors alike. Cabuts is particularly strong in his analysis of how photographs can both freeze a historical moment and set it in motion. This book is an important contribution to photographic literature at a time when the relationship among local, national, and international contexts has become a contested topic in politics and art.”

Ray Klimek, Ohio University

“In January 1950, Life magazine photographer W. Eugene Smith came to Wales and took one of his great pictures—one of the great pictures of twentieth-century photojournalism. Paul Cabuts uses this event as the starting point for a terrific and meticulously researched journey of discovery about our photographic culture. The story he tells is essential reading not just for those of us who enjoy photographs, but for all who are interested in Welsh culture and its dissemination around the world.”

Daniel Meadows, Cardiff University

Table of Contents


1. A Land Fit for Heroes
2. Photographs and Politics
3. Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
4. Photography and Art
5. Photograph(s)
6. Different Views
7. A ‘Welsh Photography’
8. The Valleys Project and Beyond


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