Sally Mann was born in 1951 in Lexington, Virginia, where she continues to live and work. She received a BA from Hollins College in 1974, and an MA in writing from the same school in 1975. Her early series of photographs of her three children and husband resulted in a series called Immediate Family.
In her recent series of landscapes of Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, and Georgia, Mann has stated that she “wanted to go right into the heart of the deep, dark South.” Shot with damaged lenses and a camera that requires the artist to use her hand as a shutter, these photographs are marked by the scratches, light leaks, and shifts in focus that were part of the photographic process as it developed during the nineteenth century.
Mann has won numerous awards, including Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. Her books of photographs include Immediate Family, At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women, and Mother Land: Recent Landscapes of Georgia and Virginia. Her photographs are in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.