This small town symbolized the archetype of pastoral American life. Yet this idyllic place was also held hostage by a dark past, manifesting in the racial tensions that scar much of American history.
Franco Fontana was born in 1933 in Modena. He took up photography in 1961 and joined an amateur club. He held his earliest solo shows in 1968 in Modena, his native city, which marked a turning point in his career. He has published over seventy books with Italian, French, German, Swiss, Spanish, American and Japanese publishers. His photographs have appeared worldwide in over 400 exhibitions, solo and collective. His images are in collections in over fifty public and private, Italian and international galleries, including the Bibliothèque Nationale, and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography, Rochester, the Musée de la Photographie, Arles, New York, the National Museum, Beijing, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Many companies have asked him to collaborate on advertising campaigns, he has published photographs in Time-Life, The New York Times, Vogue Usa, Vogue France, Il Venerdì di Repubblica, Sette del Corriere della Sera, Panorama, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Class, Epoca and others. Fontana has been invited to hold photography workshops in various schools, universities and institutes such as the Guggenheim Museumin New York, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the Académie Royale des Beaux Arts, Brussels, the Toronto University, and so on in Rome, Paris, Arles, Rockpot, Barcelona, Taipei, Politecnico di Torino, and the LUISS University, Rome. He has collaborated with the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Japanese Ministry of Culture, the French Ministry of Culture.