Stephen Shore: The Gardens At Giverny: A View of Monet’s World (Aperture, 1983)

Stephen Shore (born October 8, 1947) is an American photographer known for his images of banal scenes and objects in the United States, and for his pioneering use of color in art photography. His books include Uncommon Places (1982) and American Surfaces (1999), photographs that he took on cross-country road trips in the 1970s.

Claude Monet, founding father of French Impressionism, is best known for his works depicting his flower garden at Giverny, France, a small village located 80 km from Paris that he discovered in 1883.

In 1977, the Versailles Foundation undertook the restoration of the painter’s French home landscape; Shore was commissioned to record the five-year renaissance through the lens of his camera.


Stephen Shore’s photographs are attentive to ordinary scenes of daily experience, yet through color–and composition–Shore transforms the mundane into subjects of thoughtful meditation. A restaurant meal on a road trip, a billboard off a highway, and a dusty side street in a Texas town are all seemingly banal images, but upon reflection subtly imply meaning. Color photography attracted Shore for its ability to record the range and intensity of hues seen in life. In 1971, at age twenty-three, he became the first living photographer to have a one-person show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. His 1982 book, Uncommon Places became a bible for young photographers seeking to work in color, because, along with that of William Eggleston, his work exemplified the fact that the medium could be considered art.

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