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For more than five decades, George Tice has been photographing the landscape of America, and a number of his images have become icons of their time and field. But no other state has held for him the particular affection of Maine-its rockbound coastline, its precarious and isolated islands, its independent and hard-working people. And unmistakably, there is the sense of coming from almost another time and place, and, in the last decade or so, of a landscape transforming itself all too quickly into the conventional palette of the twenty-first century-of its fast -food predict-abilities, strip mall excrescences, and the anonymous tangles of the internet highway.
This book makes its focus the Maine we all want to remember and the coastline we perhaps visited at one time and grew to love. Nice, for the past five years, has concentrated on assembling and arranging his favorite photographs. The result is comparable in its scope to Szarkowski’s portrait of Minnesota and in sympathy to Evans’s elegy to Alabama. In all, 106 quadtone photographs, from the fogs off Lubec to the lobster boats off Mohegan, from the grain elevators of Portland to the Shakers of Sabbathday Lake. The emphasis is on the coast, on its ports, its people, its geography, and its architecture. And this seems excusable: for most of us, Maine is its coast. Its Atmosphere and mystique predominate in our mind’s eye, in the popular imagination, and in the images featured in this book.