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The new monograph William Earle Williams: Party Pictures is dedicated to the artist’s acclaimed series of the same name. Williams’ insightful photographs taken in the 1970s and 80s revel in the details of a particular moment and reveal the unspoken cues of class, race and gender. In Party Pictures, you will find blue-blood doyennes in starched lace and society upstarts dripping with jewels alongside A-list celebrities and blue-collar wait staff. Williams employed his status as an artist to access otherwise inaccessible social events in Philadelphia, such as highbrow charity galas, as well as counter-culture costume parties and other gatherings.
William Earle Williams: Party Pictures was inspired by a 2011 exhibition of this work at The Print Center. Texts include an essay by The Print Center’s former Jensen Bryan Curator John Caperton, connecting the “Party Pictures” to Williams’ other bodies of work, an interview between Williams and Edith Newhall, art critic for The Philadelphia Inquirer and ARTnews, and an introduction by The Print Center’s Executive Director Elizabeth Spungen.
Williams is Professor of Fine Arts and Curator of Photography at Haverford College, PA. His photographs have been exhibited widely, including at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Duke University, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Smith College, George Eastman House and National Gallery of Art. His work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Public Library and Philadelphia Museum of Art. Williams has received individual artist fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.
Party Pictures is a fascinating record of the time, touching on the history of photography, the legacy of Philadelphia and the societal changes of the late 20th century.
William Earle Williams PARTY PICTURES
Published by The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA (February 2020). Hardbound with tipped-in cover image, 8 ½” x 8 ½”, 92 pages, 44 black and white tritone plates and 29 illustrations, in an edition of 500. Designed by Laurie Churchman, printed by Brilliant, Exton, PA. Available from The Print Center for $65.
A special edition includes a signed book and a gelatin silver print of Untitled, 1981/2020 (the cover image) in an edition of 20 with 5 APs. Retailing for $600, the special edition is available at a pre-launch price of $550 through March 11, 2020.
Books and Special Editions are available through The Print Center Gallery Store. To make a purchase contact Evan Laudenslager, Sales & Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, 215.735.6090 x2 or order online.
‘William Earle Williams: Party Pictures,’ The Eye of Photography, March 2020 pdf
‘William Earle Williams PARTY PICTURES.’ All About Photo, February 2020 pdf