"All of her subjects, no matter how down and out, looked straight back at Ms. Mark, and her camera never flinched. With one fearless project after another, she became one of the preeminent documentary photographers of our time." -Washington Post
Conceived and edited by film director Martin Bell, Mary Ellen Mark's husband and collaborator for over 30 years, The Book of Everything celebrates in over 600 images and diverse texts Mark's extraordinary life, work and vision. From 1963 to her death in 2015, Mark told brilliant, intimate, provocative stories of remarkable characters whom she would meet and then engage with--often in perpetuity. There was nothing casual or unprepared about Mark's approach; she unfailingly empathized with the people and places she photographed.
For this comprehensive book Bell has selected images from Mark's thousands of contact sheets and chromes--from over two million frames in total. These include her own now-iconic choices, those published once and since lost in time, as well as some of her as-yet-unpublished preferences. Bell complements these with a few selections of his own. Along with Mark's photos made in compelling, often tragic circumstances, The Book of Everything
includes recollections from friends, colleagues and many of those she photographed. Mark's own thoughts reveal doubts and insecurities, her ideas about the individuals and topics she photographed, as well as the challenges of the business of photography.
The images of Mary Ellen Mark
(1940-2015) are icons of documentary photography. Her 20 books include Ward 81
(1979), Falkland Road
(1981) and Indian Circus
(1993). Her last book Tiny: Streetwise Revisited
(2015) is a culmination of 32 years documenting Erin Blackwell (Tiny), who was featured in Martin Bell's 1985 film Streetwise
and Mark's 1988 book of the same name. Mark's humanistic work has been exhibited and published in magazines worldwide.
About the Author
MARTIN BELL, directed the narrative feature films American Heart starring Jeff Bridges and Hidden in America with both Jeff and Beau Bridges. His 1984 documentary film, Streetwise, follows the lives of runaway kids on the streets of Seattle and was nominated for an Academy Award. His films The Amazing Plastic Lady, Twins, and Prom, are all companion pieces to his wife Mary Ellen Mark’s photographic projects. In 2012 he made seven short films about global pediatric healthcare also in conjunction with Mary Ellen’s photographs for Novartis’ annual report. He is currently working on two films exploring Mary Ellen’s 1976 project Ward 81. He continues to develop Mary Ellen’s photographic legacy through books, exhibitions, films, and The Mary Ellen Mark Foundation.
Renowned photographer Mary Ellen Mark's (born in Philadelphia, 1940; died in New York, 2015) numerous honors and awards included a Fulbright Scholarship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Cornell Capa Award, and the 2014 Lifetime Achievement in Photography Award from George Eastman House. During her lifetime, her photo essays and portraits were exhibited worldwide and appeared in numerous publications, including Life, the New York Times Magazine, and the New Yorker. Her photo essay on runaway children in Seattle became the basis of the Academy Award-nominated film Streetwise, directed and photographed by her husband Martin Bell, and was published in book form in 1988. Mark published twenty-one books, including American Odyssey (Aperture, 1999), Twins (Aperture, 2003), Exposure (2005), Seen Behind the Scene (2009), Prom (2012), and Tiny: Streetwise Revisited (Aperture, 2015). In addition to producing her own work, Mark taught photography workshops for nearly thirty years; her thoughts on teaching are captured in one of her final titles, Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment (Aperture's Photography Workshop Series, 2015).