Joel Sternfeld - Nags Head


Regular price $55.00


Sternfeld’s candid images of an Outer Banks summer, which went on to inform his seminal work American Prospects

In the summer of 1975, facing surgery with the potential of paralysis, a young Joel Sternfeld went off in search of a last idyll—and found it in Nags Head, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. From June to August he captured the beach town floating in time, a sense of spatial and temporal fluidity. Sternfeld’s images show beachgoers of all ages enjoying scenes of leisure and partying in what became his first body of work addressing a season.
Yet this summer sojourn was tragically broken by the news of the death of his brother; Sternfeld returned to New York, never to go back to Nags Head. Eventually he began working again and one day ventured to Rockaway Beach, Queens. Here he took a picture in which “all at once the ugly scene appeared beautiful to me”: the hues of sand, apartments and sky fuse into a cohesive whole. This photo, with its conceptual roots in Nags Head, would lead to the color structures of Sternfeld’s magnum opus American Prospects, his ambitious realization of what he had always wanted to do: follow the seasons across America.

Hardcover, 12 x 10 in. / 96 pgs / 70 color / 1 bw.