Reed Estabrook

Photographer and Educator

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American Roadside Monuments

American Roadside Monuments is really about an yankee kid's encounter with the vastness of the America and the American West. This is applied color work - 11 x 14 gelatin silver prints hand painted with oil ….
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Statement

American Roadside Monuments is really about an yankee kid's encounter with the vastness of the America and the American West. People of my generation would routinely travel across the country via automobile. I’d round tripped it twice by the time I graduated college. But in 1971, in my first teaching job at the U of Ill, I found myself on the prairie. I could look out my bedroom window and see the Panama Limited train headed south from Chicago to New Orleans. The tracks were six miles away: flat is an understatement.

Every summer we would escape the "Tyranny of Green" by driving west and these structures became dominant.

They are literally "MONUMENTS", often hand made, quintessentially American. They linked one to the life and lives of that place: standing dramatically against the blue of the sky. They embodied that wonderful shared experience of "roaming" and discovery: no artist statement necessary!


About the Work

This is applied color work - 11 x 14 gelatin silver prints hand painted with oil. It earned me my NEA Fellowship in 1976.

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