"Here are pages from a photographer's summer notebook, the sights he wishes to remember, the feelings he wishes to record...These pages from my notebook encompass that same time, those same places, seen through a different eye, recorded in a different language..." (Ruth Bains Hartmann). So begins From a Summer Notebook which combines the photos of Magnum photojournalist Erich Hartmann with the words of his writer wife Ruth Bains Hartmann. This book is a record of a shared summer holiday in coastal Maine, not an album of incidents but a distillation of a particular time and place through images and words. Long married, much travelled, often separated by work, but together here in the same place during a calm interval of privacy, photographer and writer reveal separate realities and parallel memories that together form one statement. Photographs of their family summerhouse and the quiet Maine countryside through which they roam without plan or destination are not described but enhanced by the writer's memories of past summers, and perhaps of time itself. Both separate and personal, these images and words are a quiet celebration of a fondly remembered summer.
Erich Hartmann (1922-1999), a Magnum photojournalist for fifty years, was renowned for his work in the arts, his interpretation of the industrial landscape and his revelation of the beauties of technology. Ruth Bains Hartmann was a book editor in a New York publishing house before turning to freelance research and writing, often working in collaboration with her husband on major projects such as Our Daily Bread and In the Camps. After his sudden death in 1999 she assumed direction of his photographic estate for which she has curated numerous exhibitions and edited Where I Was, a book of his personal photographs.