BOOK William Eggleston – The Democratic Forest

© 2015 William Eggleston, published by Steidl 2015

Following the publication of Chromes in 2011 and Los Alamos Revisited in 2012, the reassessment of Eggleston’s career continues with the publication of The Democratic Forest, his most ambitious project. This ten-volume set containing more than a thousand photographs is drawn from a body of twelve thousand pictures made by Eggleston in the 1980s. Following an opening volume of work in Louisiana, which serves as a visual preface, the remaining books cover Eggleston’s travels from his familiar ground in Memphis and Tennessee to Dallas, Pittsburgh, Miami, Boston, the pastures of Kentucky, and as far as the Berlin Wall. The final volume leads the viewer bac10/8/2015k to the South of small towns, cotton fields, the Civil War battlefield of Shiloh and the home of Andrew Jackson, the President from Tennessee.
The democracy of Eggleston’s title refers to his democracy of vision, through which he represents the most mundane subjects with the same complexity and significance as the most elevated. The exhaustive editing process of The Democratic Forest—a rarely shown body of work of which only a fraction has been published to date—has taken over three years, and was guided by the belief that only on this large scale can the magnitude of Eggleston’s achievement be represented. With no precedent in American art, Eggleston’s photography seen as a whole has all the grandeur of an epic piece of fiction. The Democratic Forest includes a new introduction by Mark Holborn and the re-publication of Eudora Welty’s original essay on the work.


William Eggleston was born in 1939 and today lives in Memphis. Eggleston is regarded as one of the greatest photographers of his generation and a major American artist, who has fundamentally changed the way the urban landscape is viewed. He obtained his first camera in 1957 and was later profoundly influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s book The Decisive Moment. Eggleston introduced dye-transfer printing, a previously commercial photographic process, into the making of artists’ prints. His exhibition “William Eggleston’s Guide” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1976 was a milestone. He was also involved in the development of video technology in the seventies. Eggleston’s work is represented in museums across the world, and in 2008 a retrospective of his work was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and at Haus der Kunst in Munich in 2009.

© William Eggleston, The Democcratic Forest published by Steidl 2015

William Eggleston – The Democratic Forest published by Steidl
Edited by Mark Holborn and William Eggleston III
Texts by Mark Holborn and Eudora Welty
Book design by Gerhard Steidl and Duncan Whyte

Ten clothbound hardcovers in a box:

Vol. 1 The Louisiana Project
96 pages
70 color photographs

Vol. 2 The Language
136 pages
109 color photographs

Vol. 3 Dallas. Oil. Miami
112 pages
86 color photographs

Vol. 4 Pittsburgh
144 pages
115 color photographs

Vol. 5 Berlin
128 pages
96 color photographs

Vol. 6 The Pastoral
112 pages
81 color photographs

Vol. 7 The Interior
112 pages
87 color photographs

Vol. 8 The Surface
168 pages
129 color photographs

Vol. 9 The Forest
152 pages
113 color photographs

Vol. 10 The Finale
168 pages
124 color photographs

31.5 × 32 cm
Four-color process
€ 550.00
ISBN 978-3-86930-792-3