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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Lisa McCarty

SPE Member since 2011
Member Chapter: South Central

Transcendental Concord

Transcendental Concord documents the spirit of Transcendentalism, the literary and philosophical movement that arose in the mid-19th century. While the circle of Transcendentalists in New England was wide, at its center was a core group that lived in Concord, Massachusetts. Bronson Alcott and daughter Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau lived within a few miles of each other for nearly 20 years, regularly meeting in each other's homes and on the paths of Walden Woods to discuss their writings and beliefs. In the course of a year and in every season North-Carolina based photographer Lisa McCarty photographed the sites where these Transcendentalists lived and wrote in Concord. McCarty's parallel reverence for the natural world is evident in her photographs which point to large and small variations in environment, season and light. McCarty uses long exposures and camera movement in order to capture these variations. Transcendental Concord pays homage to Transcendentalism not only in capturing a shared landscape, but in McCarty's technique: her keen observation of natural phenomena and openness to experimentation and chance.

Lantern, Concord Museum

Henry David Thoreau & Ralph Waldo Emerson, Orchard House

Philosophia, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Study

Henry David Thoreau’s Desk

Inscription by Nathaniel Hawthorne & Sophia Hawthorne, The Old Manse

Window into the Concord School of Philosophy

Meeting Room, Fruitlands Commune

Louisa May Alcott’s Desk, Orchard House

Transcendental Epilogue, Concord Free Public Library 2014 | LightJet Print from Color Negative | 16x20” Lantern, Concord Museum From the Collection of the Concord Museum 2014 | LightJet Print from Color Negative | 16x20” Henry David Thoreau & Ralph Wa

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Library

Transcendental Concord at Museum Belvédère, Netherlands

Transcendental Concord, Published by Radius Books

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