Candela Books and Gallery


Salt & Truth by Shelby Lee Adams

Salt & Truth by Shelby Lee Adams

from 60.00

Dimensions: 12 ¼ x 9 ¾ inches
128 pages, 80 plates
ISBN 978-0-9845739-1-2

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Salt & Truth is the fourth book from American photographer Shelby Lee Adams (1950-present). This collection of 80 new photographs, taken over the past eight years, continues a project the artist has been working on now for over 30 years. Together these powerful images of the hollow dwellers of eastern Kentucky, represent a singular access to a world that is historically not very trusting of outsiders, by a photographer who is widely recognized as a master of the medium.

Since the release of his last book, Appalachian Lives (2003), Adams has continued to add to his extraordinary body of work. Born in Hazard, Kentucky and raised in a hollow similar to those in the book, Adams’ connection to the people in his photographs is evident in the way that he has been openly welcomed into their homes and lives. Adams, along with his 4×5 view camera, is allowed into the personal space of his subjects, a witness in times of celebration as well as times of hardship. The photographs in this collection are of children and animals, of older folks, of working people, and the various details as seen through Adams camera, speak eloquently to the larger issues of faith and respect and compassion when many others might have seen only poverty and desperation. Adams knows what it means to be from this place, of this place.


Shelby Lee Adams is renowned for his environmental portraiture, primarily from the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky. Adams’ work has been featured in three monographs: Appalachian Portraits (1993), Appalachian Legacy (1998), and Appalachian Lives (2003) and has received numerous grants and awards. Most recently, Adams was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2010.

Adams’ work is represented in many major permanent collections; including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York.