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Prom Hardcover – April 3, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"A remarkable record of young people on the brink of change."—Publishers Weekly 

"Mark's vivid black-and-white prints celebrate the great variety and individuality of high school students through a study of prom-goers and their dates."—The Huffington Post

"Prom, by real-life photojournalist Mary Ellen Mark, captures this quintessential rite of passage in its infinite variety."—W

 "Prom makes the high school ritual a unifying experience: the excitement of prom night--and the impending march into adulthood--transcends cultural, socioeconomic and social barriers."—The New York Times’s Lens Blog

“A breathtaking look at an American rite of passage.”—People

“Award-winning photographer Mary Ellen Mark traveled the country to find an eclectic mix of subjects for her latest work, Prom. . . . Mark captured the hope, fear, sadness, joy (and yes, awkwardness) that prom brings in black-and-white photos.”—Washington Post

“Awkward. Hilarious. Heartbreaking. Magical. The high-school prom is a very American rite of passage. Renowned photographer Mary Ellen Mark invites herself to the dance, capturing the poignant moment teenagers teeter on the edge of adulthood.”—Smithsonian

“Known for her portraiture and for her unflinching eye in uncomfortable zones, this time Mark has set herself the challenge of looking at the quintessential American coming-of-age-ritual—the senior prom. . . . If the exhibition fascinates, the book is a must-have.”—Weekly Press (Philadelphia]

About the Author

Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015) achieved worldwide visibility through her numerous books, exhibitions, and editorial magazine work. She was a contributing photographer to the New Yorker and published photo-essays and portraits in Life, New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair. Her books include Seen Behind the Scene: Forty Years of Photographing on the Set (Phaidon, 2008), Exposure (Phaidon, 2006), and Twins (Aperture, 2005). Martin Bell is a filmmaker whose film Streetwise was nominated for an Academy Award. He has collaborated with Mary Ellen Mark on several projects, including his films Twins, Circus of Dreams, Alexander, and Streetwise.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: J. Paul Getty Museum; 1 edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606061089
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606061084
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1 x 12.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joni Kabana on May 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
We received our copy of Prom, and could not be happier with the book and DVD documentary film. Once again, Mary Ellen Mark and Martin Bell have rocked our worlds, selecting a subject matter that is quite commonly seen but never quite in the way that only they can reveal these subjects. How many images have we all imprinted in our minds about the Prom experience? This book challenges our traditional considerations of this ritual.

The way they handle this subject matter is revealing from the inside out, and they focus on how Prom participants feel rather than how they are seen. Beautifully printed, the book is a masterpiece work of art that will delight people even more so as time goes by. The film will make you laugh, cry, wonder, and feel empathy for the tender moments that are so sensitively captured.

Like all of their subjects in previous works, it is apparent that Bell and Mark feel a huge amount of love for their subjects. This book will make you love them all as well. Each and every sweet-tough-silly-kindhearted-spirited-yearning one of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Ayers on May 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Read this now: "Prom" by Mary Ellen Mark.

A few weeks before the dawn of time the very first interview I ever did back at ARTINFO was with Mary Ellen Mark. The occasion was Steidl's republication of her 1981 "Falkland Road" book of photographs of Bombay prostitutes.

Now the Getty Museum has just published Ms Mark's "Prom", the result of a four-year project photographing high school prom-goers the length and breadth of the country.

See more [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bevan Davies on July 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In Prom, Mary Ellen Mark has proved definitively why she is one of the best photographers of her generation. The Getty has the wherewithal to reproduce these images perfectly, and they have done so here.

The photographs treat the subjects humanely. Mary Ellen has found the ideal vehicle for her work in these very large Polaroid images. Want to get a glimpse of America? Go to the Prom.

Bevan Davies
Kennebunk, ME
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By Erica Paige Hall on October 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very pleased with the book! The photos are fun, and I really enjoyed Mary Ellen Mark's commentary and story about the project in the beginning of the book, as well as the quotes from participants in the back of the book. Reading the quotations and matching with the photo was touching and gives a real perspective into why the project was completed in the first place. If you are an art fan, a photography fan, or a prom fan, you will enjoy and appreciate this book.
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