From a Summer Notebook.
By Erich Hartmann and Ruth Bains Hartmann.
Steidl, 2012. 32 pp., 13 color illustrations, 8x11¾".
“Here are pages from a photographer’s summer notebook, the sights he wishes to remember, the feelings he wishes to record…These pages from my notebook encompass that same time, those same places, seen through a different eye, recorded in a different language…” Ruth Bains Hartmann
So begins From a Summer Notebook which combines the photographs of Magnum photojournalist Erich Hartmann and the words of his writer wife Ruth Bains Hartmann to record a shared summer holiday in coastal Maine. Not an album of incidents but a distillation of that particular time and place as seen through the eye and mind of the photographer, and as remembered in the writer’s words. Long married, much traveled, often separated by work, together here in the same places at the same time in a calm interval of privacy, writer and photographer reveal a separate reality, memories that are parallel, not identical, that join to make one statement. Photographs of their family summer house and of the quiet countryside of Maine through which they roam without plan or destination, even as they roam their private thoughts, are not described but enhanced by the writer’s expression of feeling and memory about themselves, about their lives in Maine over many summers, perhaps about time itself. Separate and personal, these photographs and words come together in quiet celebration of a shared remembered summer.