Best-selling Photographer Joanne Dugan Authors ABC NYC: A Book About Seeing New York City Featuring

From: Wahlig Public Relations
Published: Thu Mar 03 2005

Acclaimed photographer Joanne Dugan, whose compelling images illustrated the best-selling Taxi Driver Wisdom, has collaborated with designer Pamela Hovland to create a unique ABC primer titled ABC NYC: A Book About Seeing New York City (Abrams; $14.95; May, 2005). Dugan conceived of the project after realizing there were no renditions of a city-inspired alphabet book to which her 2-year old son could relate. Through Dugan's experienced lens and Hovland's controlled but ever-changing presentation, readers of all ages will see a version of New York City that takes them far beyond the usual polished postcard images.

The spontaneous photographs, paired with fun, yet factual text and the urban grid-inspired layout, will appeal to children everywhere whose imaginations are captured by the magic of New York City. Parents will find the book an effective tool for teaching young children the alphabet and older children who already read will enjoy the descriptive text. Adults who love New York will find the hardcover book a perfect fit for the coffee table and will enjoy guessing the locations of the photographs. Using the handy location list in the back of the book, they may even be inspired to walk around the city to experience each letter up close.

Dugan captured each letter of the alphabet from an eclectic array of graffiti, billboards, restaurants, shops and other signage from the city's five boroughs. From the hand-drawn to the digital, these full-color letter images are juxtaposed with exquisite black-and-white photographs of New York sites and scenes, including the well known and the obscure.

"The daily life of a child in the city is so different than in small towns and suburbs" said Dugan. "When my son was small I tried to find an alphabet book that conveyed this experience. I never found one, which is why I felt compelled to create this book. It started out as a personal project for him and, through the process, he has learned so much about the city he is being raised in."

While many of us first learned that 'C is for cow,' for instance, Dugan reminds us that New York children can easily connect 'C' to the Chrysler Building. Likewise, 'A' is for the statue of Atlas, the Greek God who graces Rockefeller Plaza across from Saint Patrick's Cathedral; 'B' is for bagel, 'E' is for escalator, 'H' is for hot dog and 'M' is for manhole cover.

A Manhattan resident for 20 years, Dugan's trademark use of the camera frame and organic approach to her subjects transform the bits and pieces of the everyday world into images of quiet force, subtle humor and romance. The result will keep children and adults entertained and inspired as it opens their eyes to new ways of seeing the city and the letterforms within.

About author Joanne Dugan:
Joanne Dugan began making pictures at age 10 with her father's Kodak Retina IIIc camera. Her work has won numerous national awards and is included in notable private and public collections. Joanne prints her black-and-white photographs by hand in her darkroom in New York City's Union Square district.

In 1996, Joanne collaborated with author Risa Mickenberg and designer Brian Hughes on the best-selling book Taxi Driver Wisdom. Two monographs of her fine art work have also been published: To Music and Other Short Stories (RDH, Germany, 1992) and Mostly True (1999). She also creates photographs on assignment for a wide range of advertising, design and corporate clients. A full biography and portfolio of her work, as well as samples of ABC NYC, A Book About Seeing New York City may be viewed at

Joanne lives in Manhattan with her often-photographed husband and son.

About designer Pamela Hovland:
Pamela Hovland has 20 years of design experience and has worked extensively in the area of print communications including identity, editorial, corporate and non-profit communications, and design for cultural institutions. She is a Critic in the Design Department at the Yale University School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut.

Pamela's work has won numerous design awards. In addition, she is a founding member of the art collective Class Action which has received national and international attention for the use of design to effect social change.

Even though she learned her ABCs while growing up on a farm in northern Minnesota, Pamela has lived and worked in New York City and Wilton, Connecticut ever since. She shares her passion for letterforms with her husband, sons and Dalmatian.

To arrange an Interview or obtain digital images contact:
Don Wahlig
Wahlig Public Relations
(908) 790-9280
Company: Wahlig Public Relations
Contact Name: Don Wahlig
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 908 790-9280

Visit website »