Lines and Lineage.  Photographs by Tomas van Houtryve.
Lines and Lineage.  booktease preview.

Lines and Lineage.

Photographs by Tomas van Houtryve.
Radius Books, Santa Fe, USA, 2019. In English. 160 pp., 80 duotone illustrations, 10x12".

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2019 by:
Publisher's Description

Printed with four different cover images: Bernadette, Gomeo, Nathan, and Dorothy.*

*Covers will be asigned randomly unless you email us with your selection.

Reviewed by Arista Slater-Sandoval on photo-eye Blog.

With Lines and Lineage, Tomas van Houtryve takes aim at America’s collective amnesia of history. The work addresses the missing photographic record of the period when Mexico ruled what we now know as the American West.

To visualize the people and places from the remarkable yet unseen Mexican era, van Houtryve chose to photograph the region with glass plates and a 19th-Century wooden camera. His portraits of direct descendants of early inhabitants of the West—mestizo, Afro-Latin, indigenous, Crypto-Jewish—are paired in diptychs with photographs of landscapes along the original border and architecture from the Mexican period. 

Lines and Lineage also includes historic maps and essays by Elisabeth Biondi and Carrie Gibson. This book lifts the pervasive fog of dominant Western mythology and makes us question the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West.


Belgian-American Tomas van Houtryve is a conceptual artist, photographer, and author whose major works interweave investigative journalism, philosophy, and metaphor. Van Houtryve makes images using a wide range of processes, ranging from 19th-century wet plate collodion to thermal imaging and Augmented Reality. His projects challenge notions of identity, memory and power, often by highlighting the slippage of wartime structures into everyday life. In partnership with the Pulitzer Center, van Houtryve has given high school and college presentations in California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and France. Van Houtryve has also made television appearances on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, ARTE and France 24, and has been a member of VII Agency since 2010.

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