An Eye Like No Other: Rosamond Purcell

Happy International Women’s Day!

I was introduced to the incredible work of Rosamond Purcell through Illuminations in the 1980’s. Her photographs opened and revealed the beauty of subjects that already held great fascination for me as a writer and artist: books, bones, fossils, objects to which time and the elements had brought a quiet but astonishing transformation. Rosamond Purcell reveals these treasures with specificity of vision that inspires to this day.

Illuminations Published by WW Norton & Company, 1986

“I began to feel indistinct longings for things I’d never seen before. I found it touching that these sodden bug-webbed books had not fallen apart. Nor had they vanished-even when placed underground. Destined to vanish, they had not.”

Rosamond Purcell, Owls Head, 2003

Photograph by Rosamond Purcell from Bookworm, published by The Quantuck Lane Press, 2006