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Clarence John Laughlin

A Vision of Dead Desire

Clarence John Laughlin was born near Lake Charles, LA in 1905.
He moved to New Orleans at a young age, and resided there until his death in 1985.

Known for:
Haunting, elegiac, and surrealist images of the ruins of New Orleans and the vanishing plantation South.

Most Popular Images:
"Enigma"; "Receding Rectangles"

Did you know ... ?
• Laughlin was a self-taught photographer.
•He was an avid bibliophile. At the time of his death, his personal library consisted of some 30,000 volumes.
• Laughlin felt that his photographs were incomplete if he failed to give them an appropriate title and caption; the captions sometimes ran to several type-written pages.

"Photography is one of the most authentic and integral modes of expression possible in this world in which we live."

"The physical object, to me, is merely a stepping stone to an inner world where the object, with the help of the subconscious drives and focuses perceptions, becomes transmuted into a symbol whose life is beyond the life of the objects we know..."

General Format:
Silver gelatin photographs of varying dimensions, usually 11" x 14".

How many photographs exist?
Laughlin printed in very small unnumbered editions (ten or less except for 2 or 3 images)

$1,500 - $15,000

View Clarence John Laughlin's Photographs

How are the photographs printed and signed?
Usually signed au verso, sometimes au recto, often with Laughlin's own hand-written or
type-written captions, mounted on board, and lacquered.

A few vintage photographs are available. Vintage means that the print date is at or near the same time as the negative date.

Technical Information:
During the Great Depression, Laughlin taught himself the fundamentals of the medium using simple cameras and home-made enlarging equipment.


Ghosts Along the Mississippi
Haunter of Ruins

A Gallery for Fine Photography has a superlative selection of original photographs by
Clarence John Laughlin.

Price History:
1975: $25 - $100
1985: $600 - $1,000
1995: $1,500 - $7,500

Authenticity is guaranteed. Prices and availability are subject to change without prior notice.

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Other photographs available.
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