Photographer Michael Book's work ranges in character from observations of the details in everyday life to sweeping landscapes.
Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Michael Book earned a BFA in photography from Utah State University and received his MFA in that same field from Ohio University in 1980, the year he began teaching at the Baton Rouge campus of Louisiana State University (LSU), where he spent his entire teaching career. Until his retirement from LSU’s School of Art at the end of the 2010 spring semester, he taught photography courses on all levels. His work employs both color and black-and-white materials used in medium- and large-format cameras, and ranges in character from observations of the details in everyday life to sweeping landscapes.
Between 1984 and 2004, Book participated in seventeen solo and two-person exhibitions, from across Louisiana (in the galleries at Nicholls State, Louisiana Tech, and Louisiana State universities and the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum in Baton Rouge) to New York City (at the Midtown YMCA) , and from Hawaii to Delaware, as well as in the universities of those states. Book’s participation in group exhibitions dates from 1980. His photographs are held in public and private collections throughout the United States at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans; the Cleveland Museum in Ohio; and the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri; as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England. In 1987, Book received a fellowship from the Louisiana Endowment for the Arts, and commissions from the George Gund Foundation of Cleveland (1990) and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (2004).
Book has produced two extended projects concerning American rivers, an expression of his abiding interest in landscape photography. In 1994, as a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, he photographed along the Mississippi and produced an exhibition of eighty-five prints. In 2001, Book traveled the length of the Missouri River, photographing its course and adjacent lands. He also works in the genre of still life.