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Mountain Ranch

Mountain Ranch

This powerful photo-essay records the last vestiges of a tradition that exerts a universal fascination and mystique—cowboying in the American West.

Series: M.K. Brown Range Life Endowment

August 2017
Active (available)
$40.00
228 pages | 8.5 x 11 | 168 b&w photos |
ISBN: 
978-1-4773-1293-3
Description: 

“The ranches where Michael Crouser so affectionately captures these scenes tell a story of staying power, of joy in the beauty of the world, of gratitude for the working animals—the dogs and the horses—of midwifery and husbandry, of seeing the seasons through. . . . It is a pleasure to be brought into this out-of-the-way part of the world with such understated passion.”
—Gretel Ehrlich, from the introduction

The mountain ranches of western Colorado preserve a way of life that has nearly vanished from the American scene. Families who have lived on the same land for five or six generations raise cattle much as their ancestors did, following an annual cycle of breeding, birthing, branding, grazing, and selling livestock. Michael Crouser spent more than a decade (2006–2016) photographing family cattle ranches in Colorado, intrigued “not by the ways their lives are changing but by the way they have stayed the same.” He was, he says, “most interested in the traditional elements of these traditional lives, . . . what they call ‘cowboying.’”

Intimate without being sentimental about the realities of ranch work, Mountain Ranch’s duotone images capture the raw and basic elements of a hard and basic life. In the afterword, Crouser pays verbal tribute to ranch people who are “the real deal,” whose seasonal round of work forms the subject of the acclaimed nature writer Gretel Ehrlich’s foreword. Portraits of eight men and women who eloquently describe their long lives on Colorado mountain ranches complete the volume.

The ever-increasing commercial and residential development of traditional ranch land and the economic difficulties facing a new generation of ranchers threaten the future of cattle ranching in the mountains of Colorado. Mountain Ranch powerfully records the last vestiges of a tradition that exerts a nearly universal fascination and mystique—cowboying in the American West.

Contents: 
  • Foreword by Gretel Ehrlich
  • Mountain Ranch: The Photographs
  • Heritage
  • Afterword by Michael Crouser
  • Acknowledgments
Author: 

MICHAEL CROUSER
Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

 

Crouser is the author of two critically acclaimed photography books: Los Toros, which won first prize in the fine art book category at the 2008 International Photography Awards; and Dog Run, which was named one of the top ten photography books of the year by Photo District News, Communication Arts, and the International Photography Awards. In 2012 the Leica Gallery in New York City presented a twenty-five-year retrospective exhibition of his work. Crouser has taught at the International Center of Photography, the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, and the Mpls Photo Center in Minneapolis, and his work is in several prominent collections.

 

 

 

 

GRETEL EHRLICH
Wyoming

 

 

 

 

Ehrlich is the author of many acclaimed books, including The Solace of Open Spaces; Islands, the Universe, Home; A Match to the Heart: One Woman’s Story of Being Struck by Lightning; In the Empire of Ice: Encounters in a Changing Landscape; and Facing the Wave: A Journey in the Wake of the Tsunami.

 

 

Reviews: 

“A must-have book for your library and your brain.”
Rangefinder

“The ranches where Michael Crouser so affectionately captures these scenes tell a story of staying power, of joy in the beauty of the world, of gratitude for the working animals—the dogs and the horses—of midwifery and husbandry, of seeing the seasons through. . . . It is a pleasure to be brought into this out-of-the-way part of the world with such understated passion.”
Gretel Ehrlich, from the introduction

“These are an important group of images carefully and lovingly photographed by a man keenly aware of light and gesture. Michael’s work stands out for me in its honesty and transparency, a wonderful amalgam of form and content. Above all, there is a sense of poetry. I look at the work and find myself smiling, nodding my head and saying ‘yes, yes, yes.’”
Jay Maisel, award-winning photographer

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