At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women

Thirtieth-Anniversary Edition

Photographs and commentary by Sally Mann
Introduction by Ann Beattie

Availability: Coming soon

9 3/8 x 10 7/8 inches 56 pages, 36 duotone images Clothbound with jacket 978-1-59711-458-5 October 2019

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First published by Aperture in 1988, At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women is a contemporary classic by one of photography’s great artists. To mark the book’s thirtieth anniversary, Aperture is reoriginating it in a masterful facsimile edition that retains the pure spirit of the original.

At Twelve is Sally Mann’s revealing, collective portrait of twelve-year-old girls on the verge of adulthood. To be young and female in America is a time of tremendous excitement and social possibilities; it is a trying time as well, caught between childhood and adulthood, when the difference is not entirely understood. As Ann Beattie writes in her perceptive introduction, “These girls still exist in an innocent world in which a pose is only a pose—what adults make of that pose may be the issue.” The consequences of this misunderstanding can be real: destitution, abuse, unwanted pregnancy. The young women in Mann’s unflinching, large-format photographs, however, are not victims. They return the viewer’s gaze with a disturbing equanimity. Poet Jonathan Williams writes, “Sally Mann’s girls are the ones who do the hard looking in At Twelve—be up to it!”

This reissue of At Twelve has been printed using new scans and separations from Mann’s prints, which were taken with an 8-by-10-inch view camera, rendering them with a freshness and sumptuousness true to the original edition.

Sally Mann (born in Lexington, Virginia, 1951) has photographed the American South since the 1970s. A Guggenheim fellow and three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Mann was named America’s Best Photographer by Time magazine in 2001. She has been the subject of two documentaries and her work has been the subject of major exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; and National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Mann’s other Aperture books are Immediate Family (1992, reissued 2014), Still Time (1994), Proud Flesh (copublished with Gagosian Gallery, 2009), and The Flesh and The Spirit (copublished with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2010).

Ann Beattie has been included in four O. Henry Prize collections. She has received the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story and the Rea Award for the Short Story, and she was the Edgar Allan Poe Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.