Disfarmer: The Heber Springs Portraits 1939-1946. Photographs by Mike Disfarmer. Text by Julia Scully. Photographs from the collection of Peter Miller. Addison House, Danbury, NH, 1976. First Edition.
Quarto. Black cloth with silver lettering. 135 pp., 118 duotone plates.
This original edition of Disfarmer created much interest upon publication. These rural full-length portraits of small-town Arkansas working-class during World-War II America, are among the most directly and purely seen portraits every made. Disfarmer was odd. Born Mike Meyer he renamed himself Disfarmer believing that shortly after birth, a tornado had deposited him directly into the Heber Springs, Arkansas Meyer family who in turn raised him. He changed his name from Meyer to Disfarmer since Meyer, according to photographer, meant farmer, and he, not really being born a Meyer, was a "dis" farmer. His unusual character allowed him to draw expression from common working class folks without pretense and provides us with a gracious record of an fascinating time in American history. The reproductions in this First Edition are very different from the later, also beautiful, Twin Palms book. In this edition, they're more akin to the actual gelatin-silver prints made from Disfarmer's original glass-plate negatives: full of detail and sharp as a tack.
The jacket spine is sun-faded, corners are chipped, 1/4" tear to top of spine, small tears to top back. The book itself is in beautiful condition, a tight copy, Very Fine.