175 Tritones

Pure Quill

Photographs by Barbara Van Cleve
By Susan Hallsten McGarry
Photographs by Barbara Van Cleve



Winner of the 2017 Independent Press Award for Photography

In the vernacular of the West, the term pure quill means “authentic; real, through and through.” Barbara Van Cleve’s gripping black-and-white photographs of the West she knows and loves give vision to that term. Born and raised on a working Montana cattle and horse ranch, for seven decades she has focused her lens on the land and sky, and the men, women, and animals who animate it. Through riveting compositions, subtle values, and captivating textures, her photographs dispel the myths associated with the West while conveying its true adventure and compelling drama. In this first book featuring the breadth of her subject matter, readers experience her other themes, including Rodeo as Dance, striking night scenes, the Great Montana Centennial Cattle Drive series, and documentation of the Spanish Mission Trail in Baja California, Mexico. Honesty, consistency, and versatility are the hallmarks of Van Cleve’s oeuvre, and pride of place is her brand.

Subjects: Photography

Contributor Bios
Barbara Van Cleve has had over 60 one-person shows. Her work is in public and private collections in the United States as well as internationally.
Susan Hallsen McGarry has been writing about artists of the American West for more than three decades. The former editor in chief of Southwest Art magazine, she guides the reader on a captivating journey through Van Cleve’s life, philosophy, and themes.