Constance: One Road to Take by Peter Elliott (1967W)

Elliott's newly published book, about a celebrated documentary photographer, Constance Stuart Larrabee, who made stunning images of Southern Africa in the period 1936-49.

Publication date: November 2018
Constance Stuart Larrabee (1914–2000) was a leading female photographer, fêted in both South Africa and the United States of America yet little-known outside of these countries. She was intrepid as a war correspondent and as a solo woman photographer in South Africa and would go anywhere to capture the photographs she wanted to take.
Constance: One Road to Take will be the first comprehensive book on Constance Stuart Larrabee’s life and work, covering her work in South Africa during the period 1936–1949, in war-torn France and Italy in 1944–1945, and in the USA after she settled on the shores of Chesapeake Bay in late 1949. The book provides insights into the social and political backdrop against which she made her photographs in Southern Africa, draws on her unique war journal and depicts the beauty and tranquillity of the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

About Constance Stuart Larrabee
Her early career was spent in a South Africa that was divided into camps, white and black, Afrikaans- and English-speaking. Full-blown apartheid had not yet been introduced but South African society was marked by regimented townships, influx control, and segregated living areas. Despite her background, she managed to penetrate into the rural reserves and the townships. Her early photographs provide a unique lens into the lives of women and children living on the land while their husbands worked deep underground or in the factories that spilled out onto the ridges of the Witwatersrand.
Constance studied art both in England and Germany, and subsequently started a studio in Pretoria. Although the studio was successful, her prime interest lay in chronicling the lives of black people living in the countryside, and later in the city and mines. She covered the Allied advance in France and Italy towards the end of the war. In the late 1950s she married and settled in the USA, where she continued her photography.
The book includes 92 photographs, all but four of which are by Constance Stuart Larrabee, drawn from the several collections in the USA that now hold her works. 67 of the images are illustrated full page in the book and show Constance’s astonishing clarity and vision.

About the author
Peter Elliott has had a lifelong interest in both history and art and his interest in Constance’s photography was piqued when he was researching a Second World War story about South African military experiences in the Apennines in Italy in the freezing winter of 1944–1945. This drew him into a prolonged contemplation of Constance’s Southern African photographs and their context. This book results from his determination to unravel the enigma that was Constance, a photographer who retreated from engagement with the political significance of the photographs she made, but nevertheless left a legacy of stunning images..
Peter Elliott is the author of two previous books, Eight Months in the Veneto and Nita Spilhaus (1878–1967) and her artist friends in the Cape (described as a “a comprehensive resource” by South African Art Times).
 

 

Standard Printed Edition
ISBN: 978-1720258063
Binding: Laminated paperback
92 photographs
Extent: 210 pages
Size: 25.4 cm x 20cm

Ebook
Kindle edition available from Amazon
Standard e-book format, providing maximum flexibility across a range of devices
Photographs as large as the reader’s device will allow (except where limited by source material)
Hyperlinked endnotes

Constance: One Road to Take will be published by Cantaloup Press on 1 November 2018.
Both the Standard Printed Edition and the ebook will be available worldwide on Amazon.
Prices: Printed Edition, $ 29 USD, £ 22.34 GBP, € 26.67 EUR (FR); Ebook, $ 4.98 USD, £ 3.89 GBP, € 4.38 EUR (FR).
All enquiries to Peter Elliott: email, [email protected], tel. +33 4 68 72 52 30