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David Freund: Playground Once

Playground Once

ISBN: 9783958295025 (HB - EN)

In 2003, as David Freund was driving to Missouri to see a 102-year-old friend, she died. Reflecting on their meeting when he was a child, he stopped in Illinois to photograph an old playground. Besides swings, teeter-totters and slides, there were cannon, war memorials, a picnic area, a cornfield, and a baseball field, evocative and telling, a site of community and play. The moment launched a two-year odyssey to find and photograph such places. Freund soon realized playgrounds were an endangered species. In cities, because of safety and liability concerns, their apparatus, familiar to many childhoods, had largely been supplanted by bright structures of multi-colored plastic and enameled steel. Thus, Freund focused on small towns where tradition, inertia and budget often permitted early playgrounds to survive. These were usually unoccupied, so children rarely appear in FreundÆs photographs, although alluded to in footprints, worn paint, and ruts under swings. Weather, light and viewpoint contribut

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