(Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1936 - 2016, Washington D.C.)
Lives Washington, D.C.
William Christenberry grew up in Hale County, Alabama—the same county made famous in Walker Evans' photographs. In fact, Christenberry, a painter and sculptor who took photographs on the side, sought Evans out for advice. Evans, impressed by the younger man’s camera work, convinced Christenberry to seriously pursue his photography. Christenberry made Hale County the principal subject of his art. Much like his mentor Evans, Christenberry carefully singles out those aspects that are most typical of the southern working-class. His color photographs show shacks, churches, and signs, presented plainly and without affectation; some are even taken with a simple, old "Brownie" camera. Yet this concern for subject matter never overshadows his concern with visual harmony.
He attended The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa where he received both his BFA and MFA degrees. The artist is best known for his photography, painting, drawings and sculpture that depict Southern themes.