The blues, a distinct and powerful music most associated with the Southern Mississippi Delta region of the United States and emanating from that region's African-American culture, is appreciated the world over. Its ability to bridge cultural differences is partly due to its deeply emotional content and its unique musical form, derived from traditions of African and gospel music among others. It is characterized by musical sophistication, philosophical profundity, and lyrics that are frequently constructed from an unmatched poetic economy. The blues remain the premier musical form of the disenfranchised and downhearted.
Visualizing the Blues brings together photographs by world-renowned masters, among them Margaret Bourke-White, Mathew Brady, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ralston Crawford, Jack Delano, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Clarence John Laughlin, Gordon Parks, Andres Serrano, Doris Ulmann, Eudora Welty, as well as a number of emerging artists including, Huger Foote, Birney Imes, and Ashley T. Mitchell. The intense visual texture created by the diverse talents of these photographers attests to a rich soup of experiences, social and geographical roots, and collective soul that contribute to the beloved culture of the American South. Hard truths, legendary humor, and depth of spirit for which blues music is well known comes to life in these images and provides a new way for appreciating and understanding the complex mix of influences that culminates in such an extraordinary musical expression.