Ruth Orkin: Bike Trip USA, 1939


The first publication to document the photojournalist’s teenage cross-country American bike journey

At the age of 17, American photojournalist Ruth Orkin (1921–85) traveled across the United States alone, with nothing but her bicycle, photo equipment and $25 in her pocket. Over a four-month period, she took 350 photographs: urban scenes, numerous self-portraits and striking compositions framed by her bicycle. In each city she visited, local newspapers covered her story, interviewing and photographing her. With the unexpected publicity, she was invited everywhere, given tickets to shows and even gifted a new two-wheeler. Orkin’s stated aim upon departure was to visit the New York World’s Fair, but the transcontinental adventure proved far more decisive. It was a defining moment in her personal and artistic development, confirming the old adage: it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.
The inaugural project of one of the great 20th-century American photographers is unveiled here for the very first time. A text by French photography historian Clément Chéroux accompanies the photo project, illuminating the historical and aesthetic context of Orkin’s American romp. An image of a bold, modern woman with a bold, modern photographic philosophy emerges into view.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Silvana Editoriale (June 4, 2024)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Board book ‏ : ‎ 128 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 8836656064
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-8836656066
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.43 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.66 x 0.39 x 11.81 inches

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