The publication’s lighthearted tone and liberated aesthetic embodied the zeitgeist of its mid-1960s audience
In 1964, South African photographer Sam Haskins (1926-2009) published Cowboy Kate & Other Stories. It was one of the first photobooks to present a purely fictional narrative and is regarded by many as a benchmark in the history of photobooks. More than a million copies of the book were sold, and in the same year it won the prestigious Prix Nadar award in France. In 2005, its significance was cemented when it was included in the International Center of Photography’s exhibition, The Open Book: A History of the Photographic Book from 1878 to the Present. Now, a selection of 35 prints go on show at Atlas Gallery, London, with 100 limited edition copies of the book released to coincide.
The character of Cowboy Kate was thought up by Haskins and his wife, Alida after a model posed in Haskins’ studio in a black suede hat. The dynamic images tell the story of Kate’s adventures fighting for justice in the Old West. The publication also transformed an unknown model into a fashion icon, with a lighthearted tone and liberated aesthetic that embodied the zeitgeist of its mid-1960s audience
Cowboy Kate & Other Stories opens at Atlas Gallery on 18 September and runs until 16 November 2019.