Sally Mann: At Twelve, Portraits of Young Women (30th Anniversary Edition)


This book is not yet published, but will be available from December 2021.

ISBN: 9781597114585 Category:

Sally Mann


First published by Aperture in 1988, At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women is a contemporary classic by one of photography’s most renowned photographers. To mark the book’s thirtieth anniversary, Aperture is reoriginating it in a masterful facsimile edition that retains the purity of the original.

At Twelve is Sally Mann’s revealing, collective portrait of twelve-year-old girls on the verge of adulthood. To be young and female in America is a time of tremendous excitement and social possibilities; it is a trying time as well, caught between childhood and adulthood, when the difference is not entirely understood. As Ann Beattie writes in her perceptive introduction, “These girls still exist in an innocent world in which a pose is only a pose-what adults make of that pose may be the issue.” The consequences of this misunderstanding can be real: destitution, abuse, unwanted pregnancy. The young women in Mann’s unflinching, large-format photographs, however, are not victims. They return the viewer’s gaze with a disturbing equanimity. Poet Jonathan Williams writes, “Sally Mann’s girls are the ones who do the hard looking in At Twelve-be up to it!”

This reissue of At Twelve has been printed using new scans and separations from Mann’s prints, which were taken with an 8-by-10-inch view camera, rendering them with a freshness and sumptuousness true to the original edition.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 23.8 x 27.6 cm
Publisher name Aperture Foundation
Publication date 31 December 2021
Number of pages 56
Format Hardback
Contributors Introduction by Ann Beattie
Dimensions 23.8 x 27.6 cm
Weight 300 g


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Sally Mann (born in Lexington, Virginia, 1951) has remained close to her roots, photographing in the American South since the 1970s. She is renowned for her resonant landscape work, trenchant studies of mortality, and intimate portraits of her children and husband. A Guggenheim fellow and three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Mann was named America's Best Photographer by Time magazine in 2001. She has been the subject of two documentaries: Blood Ties (1994) and What Remains (2007), and in 2011 she presented at Harvard the William E. Massey Sr. Lecture in American Studies, which planted the seeds for Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs (2015). Mann's work has been the subject of major exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; and National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Mann's other Aperture books include Immediate Family (1992, reissued 2014), Still Time (1994), Proud Flesh (copublished with Gagosian Gallery, 2009), and The Flesh and The Spirit (copublished with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2010).

Ann Beattie (introduction), a preeminent writer of her generation, has written numerous books, including the novels Chilly Scenes of Winter (1976) and Falling in Place (1980); the short-story collections Where You'll Find Me (1986) and The Accomplished Guest (2017); and Alex Katz (1987), a monograph of the painter's work.