The art: William Garnett, Trenching Lakewood, California, 1950.
The news: “Debunking the Cul-De-Sac,” by Emily Badger for The Atlantic Cities. Note the similarity between Garnett’s photograph and the Federal Housing Authority’s graphic example of “bad” suburban development practice. As Badger notes in her piece, after about 1950, virtually no American developments were built with the pattern Garnett captures here.
The source: Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
Nota bene: Today 3rd of May will feature five William Garnett 1950 photographs of the construction of what would become Lakewood, California. This is the second of those five posts. The first one is here.
Garnett is one of America’s most underrated photographers, a forerunner of the photographic movement known as the New Topographics, which documented the ways in which America was transforming the West — and America — through rapacious land-use policies. Garnett is best-known for his aerial photographs, pictures that adapted aerial military photography pioneered by Edward Steichen and others to examine post-war America. The from-above vantage point was later further popularized by Google Satellite.
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