Ralph Eugene Meatyard

this is the first of a few posts this week about the work of photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard

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Untitled, (Red River Gorge #21: fog on stream) c. 1967-71

I first ran into his work while in undergrad at the University of Kentucky.  Meatyard was a local Lexington, Ky optician who became interested in lenses and photography and continued to take photos on the weekends up until his death in 1972.  At Kentucky, I uncovered negatives and prints by him, beautiful and disturbing, in the university photo archives.

His work was varied and his explorations with the camera were wide-ranging though his photos were mostly taken in and around northern Kentucky, with his family and friends as often-used subjects.

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Untitled (One-armed man with mannequin and mirror), c. 1958-62

This week I am going to post photos by Meatyard that span his artistic career from the ‘zen’ nature photos through the disturbing mask portraits.

All the photos this week are scanned from the excellent book on Meatyard, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, An American Visionary published by the Akron Art Museum in 1991, editor Barbara Tannenbaum.

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