William Eggleston, Black Family by the Sea, 1974
"Born in 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee, William Eggleston represents the quintessential American photographer. He received a National Endowment for the Arts Photographer's Fellowship in 1975 and shortly thereafter had his first solo show at New York's Museum of Modern Art. His subject matter was, simply put, America, through the lens of his democratic camera. From Niagara Falls to a commission from AT&T to photograph the Gulf states; from the J. Paul Getty Museum and its grounds to Elvis Presley's mansion, Graceland; and another commission from Coca-Cola to photograph their plants in four cities in the US, Eggleston exposed the raw, quotidien, and unglamorous American life of the lower middle class. Eggleston took many many silver gelatin prints that have made it into lauded private and public collections, but since he is credited with discovering the dye transfer process of color printing, I would urge the White House to acquire a color print such as these."