Suburban World: The Norling Photos by Brad Zellar (2008)
This past summer, I somewhat randomly happened upon a great photography exhibit at The Minnesota History Center featuring the work of Minnesota native Irwin Norling. For forty hours a week, Norling was employed as an engineer at Honeywell. The rest of his waking hours he was an "amateur" photographer. His subject matter was the town he lived in, Bloomington, and ran the gamut from accident scenes to civic events to local citizens. His style was to capture things "exactly as they are" without any artistic flourishes.
In 2002, while exploring the vaults of the Bloomington Historical Society, journalist Brad Zellar uncovered over 10,000 of Norling's photos. This book culls the best of the bunch and the overall result is a thorough and unsentimental documentation of Bloomington's existence as a typical Midwestern small town, eventually giving way to the surburban sprawl of the Twin Cities. Highly recommended. Check catalog for availability.
- submitted by Tom @ MPL Central