Some Southern women might own batter-stained Junior League cookbooks. But Sally Mann’s recipe book is “The Wet Plate Process: A Working Guide.” Showcased in a glass vitrine and turned to a page featuring a formula for silver gelatin solution, the pages are marked by crime scene splatters of chemicals.

In “Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings” that well-worn book is evidence of Mann’s own technical experimentation and desire to master some of photography’s antiquated, mercurial and beautiful forms from tintypes to ambrotypes.


An exhibition devoted to one of photography’s most enduring contemporary voices, “A Thousand Crossings,” which originated as a collaboration between the National Gallery of Art and the Peabody Essex Museum (former home of the show’s co-curator and the High’s new curator of photography Sarah Kennel) offers a complicated and very human portrait of Sally Mann.

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