All are welcome-painters and mountaineers, mystics and poets, ranchers and socialites, bombshells and philistines, soldiers and activists, upstarts and old-timers-provided their stories lift the spirit, inspire the mind, or provoke a new way of seeing the world. This engaging, democratic impulse connects the All-American series of art journals, curated for the past 14 years by the photographer and filmmaker, Bruce Weber. This year, in his 15th anniversary issue, Weber continues his exploration of American culture-the lofty and the everyday, the famous and the obscure, in American culture. Subjects include a long-form portfolio by Weber himself, who explores the intersection of prison life and community life in the small southern city of Richmond, Virginia. The paradox of immigration in America-at once the soul and the schism of the republic-finds unique expression in the photo memoir of Misa Rusek, a fearless octogenarian whose family journey begins in turn-of-the-century Japan and continues today in Israel, with reminiscences on postwar California and New York in between.A second story by Bruce Weber considers the sporting life in a profile of Gordon Gronkowski, who trained his five sons to become professional football and baseball players.
A tribute to the lyrical American painter, Jane Wilson, stands in contrast to the rugged stoicism of Ben Johnson, a rancher-turned-actor favored by Sam Peckinpah and John Ford. All-American XV features an original commission by the young photo star Mike Bailey Gates, documentary work by Stephen Shapiro and Andrew Renneisen, and poetry by Don Blanding.