Transcendental Concord 

Photographs by Lisa McCarty

Texts by Rebecca Norris Webb & Kirsten Rian

Hardcover | 8 x 10 inches |124 pages | 50 color images

Available from Radius Books

Trade Edition | Limited Edition | Deluxe Edition | Library Edition

"For a photographer, seeing this attentively is akin to listening with one’s whole being." —Rebecca Norris Webb

"We tend to think of the camera as a literal tool, but for many it is a medium of abstraction, and McCarty utilizes photography well to create imagery steeped in history but presenting current considerations on culture and community." —Kirsten Rian

"McCarty’s attention to natural light, and her use of motion blur and multiple exposures lend a dreamlike quality to the images, which seem not only to be in the spirit of the writers, but to reveal something of their presence." Conor Risch, Photo District News


Transcendental Concord documents the spirit of Transcendentalism, the literary and philosophical movement that arose in the mid-19th century. While the circle of Transcendentalists in New England was wide, at its center was a core group that lived in Concord, Massachusetts. Bronson Alcott and daughter Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau lived within a few miles of each other for nearly 20 years, regularly meeting in each other’s homes and on the paths of Walden Woods to discuss their writings and beliefs. These five Concordians have inspired generations of artists and radicals to “live deliberately.” Through this project, which involved equal parts photographing, walking and reading, Lisa McCarty pays homage to the Transcendental movement and its ideals by making images that bear witness to its philosophy through the landscape that nourished it.