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. In the course of a year and in every season North-Carolina based photographer Lisa McCarty photographed the sites where these Transcendentalists lived and wrote in Concord. McCarty’s parallel reverence for the natural world is evident in her photographs which point to large and small variations in environment, season and light. McCarty uses long exposures and camera movement in order to capture these variations. Transcendental Concord pays homage to Transcendentalism not only in capturing a shared landscape, but in McCarty’s technique: her keen observation of natural phenomena and openness to experimentation and chance.

Images via D'ARK ROOM Book Project Space, Operated by Datz Press, Seoul, South Korea