Ralph Eugene Meatyard (American, 1925–1972) is not one of the most familiar names in photographic history, but his impact on the field, belatedly recognized, is significant. An optician in Lexington, Kentucky, Meatyard sustained a lifelong interest in visual perception. Well read and deeply connected to a circle of poets and philosophers, he made photographs rich in literary allusion. In his last decade, Meatyard kept returning to the tropes of dolls and masks, often photographing his children posed in abandoned houses and landscapes in the environs of his home.
The exhibition was organized by the Art Institute of Chicago. Support for the exhibition is provided by the Pritzker Fund for Photography.
L: Untitled, ca. 1962, gelatin silver print, museum purchase, John Pritzker Fund, 2011.4.3. C: Untitled, ca. 1960–1962, gelatin silver print, museum purchase, John Pritzker Fund, 2011.4.1. R: Untitled, ca. 1961, gelatin silver print, gift of Christopher and Diane Meatyard, 2011.6.1. © The Estate of Ralph Eugene Meatyard