From the exquisite beauty along the Ozark National Scenic Riverways to the whimsical humor of street sculpture in St. Louis and Kansas City to the gleeful faces of children enjoying a fall festival, Images of Missouri vividly captures the entire breadth of the state. Missouri is home to many well-known places and landmarks, some of which make at least a cameo appearance in the book: the Gateway Arch, the Country Club Plaza, the Missouri River, Ha Ha Tonka castle, the State Capitol and Governor's Mansion, Johnson's Shut-Ins, and the Blue Room at 18th and Vine. At the same time, Images of Missouri includes tranquil scenes from everyday life - scenes that we usually take for granted and rarely stop to absorb: a pair of grain shovels informally propped against a barn wall, an antiquated gas pump gradually succumbing to rust, a wooden walkway delicately glazed with early-morning frost, the silhouette of a fishing party before a pastel sunset. Taken by 33 of the state's best photographers, the 124 photographs in this book provide a remarkable array of perspectives - a feat that would be nearly impossible for a single photographer or even a handful. Through these photos, we discover that even ordinary objects, viewed in the right light with a discerning eye, can offer moments of heightened experience and reflection. Images of Missouri superbly captures the vibrant tapestry of contemporary life in Missouri, as well as parts of our history and identity that cannot be encapsulated in museums, archives, and textbooks.
Clair Willcox's interest in photography began as an offshoot of a passion for backpacking some twenty-five years ago when he hauled a 35mm SLR on his weekend expeditions in the Sierras. Currently Acquisitions Editor at the University of Missouri Press, he continues to pursue scenic and wildlife photography at every opportunity. He also enjoys shooting sports events, particularly his children's soccer matches.