ABOUT THE BOOK
Studying at the International Center of Photography in New York, Rebecca Norris Webb first came across W. Eugene Smith’s Country Doctor, his famous Life Magazine photo essay. She was immediately drawn to the subject of Smith’s essay, Dr. Ernest Ceriani, a Colorado country doctor who was just a few years older than her father. She wondered: How would a woman tell this story, especially if she happened to be the doctor’s daughter? In light of this, for the past six years Norris Webb has retraced the route of her 99-year-old father’s house calls through Rush County, Indiana, the rural county where they both were born. Following his work rhythms, she photographed often at night and in the early morning, when many people arrive into the world—her father delivered some one thousand babies—and when many people leave it. Accompanying the photographs, lyrical text pieces addressed to her father create a series of handwritten letters told at a slant. Ultimately, Night Calls is a meditation on fathers and daughters, on memory and one’s first landscape, on caretaking of the land and its inhabitants, and on history that divides us as much as heals us.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Originally a poet, Rebecca Norris Webb often interweaves her text and photographs in her books, most notably with her monograph My Dakota—an elegy for her brother who died unexpectedly—with a solo exhibition of the work at The Cleveland Museum of Art, summer 2015. She has published eight photography books, including the collaborative books Memory City (Radius Books, 2014) and Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs from Cuba (Radius Books, 2009), both with Alex Webb; the latter exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her photographs have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Le Monde among other publications. A 2019 NEA grant recipient, Norris Webb has work in numerous collections, including the MFA, Boston; The Cleveland Museum of Art; and the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY.