“This lovely book focuses on the ornamental panels of an antique carousel as portals for meditation on the flickering meld of past and present. Jim Lommasson’s exquisite photographs of the twice-painted, much-damaged panels capture the surreal beauty of the original images emerging from and blending with the dissolving landscapes that covered them. The images are rich, intriguing, and poignant. They picture decay as its own vibrant form of life. The three essays that surround and contemplate the images add layer after layer of beautifully voiced history and meaning. The origins of carousels, the identity of the eccentric brothers who painted the second layer, and the shifts in culture that this particular carousel has survived, all add dimension to the images themselves. Oaks Park Pentimento is a timeless treasure about time.”
Jim Lommasson is the recipient of the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from The Center of Documentary Studies at Duke University and author of the critically acclaimed book Shadow Boxers: Sweat, Sacrifice, and the Will to Survive in American Boxing Gyms. An exhibit of his Oaks Park photographs was held at the Portland Art Museum in 2007. Lommasson is a recipient of regional and national awards with work in numerous collections. Jim lives in Portland, Oregon.
Inara Verzemnieks has been a staff writer at The Oregonian since 1997. In 2007, she was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing.
Prudence Roberts is an art historian and curator specializing in Pacific Northwest art. She is the former curator of American art at the Portland Art Museum and now teaches at Portland Community College. She lives just a few miles from Oaks Park.