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Black Hawk Bridge




Cairo IL





Read an interview with David Freese in the Dubuque Telegraph Herald (pdf 8/2020).

"David Freese captures the magic, majesty, and muddy squalor of the Mississippi River. Through images that report, rhapsodize, and editorialize, he depicts the river as a giver of life and a source of peril, a wellspring for agriculture and industry, and a means of transportation, recreation, and contemplation."
—Barbara Tannenbaum, Chair of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs and Curator of Photography, Cleveland Museum of Art

"With Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf, David Freese has created an extensive portrait of the massive life force that runs through the North American continent. His photographs acknowledge and chronicle diverse aspects, from engineering projects and human involvement to flora and fauna, from map-like aerial overviews to intimate vignettes. The scope and thoughtfulness of his photographic perspective, along with the richly descriptive essay by Simon Winchester and foreword by Sarah Kennel, offer insight into the significance of the Mississippi not just for those who live in its watershed, but for all Americans. Taken together with Freese's surveys of North America's East and West Coasts, we can appreciate the intrinsic way that our cultural and economic histories are written in the land and how the keys to our future—especially in light of climate change—are visible along the Mississippi as well."
—Rebecca A. Senf, Chief Curator at the Center for Creative Photography and the Norton Family Curator of Photography, and author of Reconstructing the View: The Grand Canyon Photographs of Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe

"It seemed appropriate that, as I read this book, record rainfall in the Midwest brought Mississippi River levels to an all-time high as an early-season hurricane was barreling toward New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Get David Freese's wonderful book, Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf, to gain an understanding of how natural forces are combining with human-caused climate change and questionable decision-making to create a perfect storm of societal consequence."
—Michael E. Mann, Director, Penn State Earth System Science Center and author of The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying our Politics, and Driving us Crazy

"The book, showcases a masterful visual journey from its source at Lake Itasca in Minnesota 2,552 miles south to the Gulf of Mexico. Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf ... includes an essay by Simon Winchester and a foreword by Sarah Kennel, Curator of Photography at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Freese's photographs reveal a wide diversity of industry and farmland, cities and towns, landscapes and wildlife, and the constant flow of goods, grain, and fuel, up and down the country's major shipping artery. "
—Aline Smithson, Lenscratch (read full article here)

"I wish I could carefully slice a few pages out of David Freese's book and coil them tightly in waterproof bottles. I'd address them to my St. Louis ancestors and float them downhill into the past. Maybe if they knew what was coming, they could try to do something about it."
—Julianne Couch, Daily Yonder (read full article here)

"A simple delight to browse and page through one duo-tone image at a time, Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf showcases memorable aspects of an iconic American river. A remarkable compendium of equally remarkable photography, Mississippi River: Headwaters and Heartland to Delta and Gulf is very highly recommended for personal contemporary American photography collections, and would make an ideal memorial gift acquisition selection for community, college, and university library collections."
—James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review


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