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Vanishing Vernacular.
Western Landmarks.

Photographs by Steve Fitch. Contribution by Toby Jurovics.
George F Thompson Publishing, 2018. 172 pp., 130 illustrations, 10x11¾".

Signed copies available!

Publisher's Description

Now in its second printing!

Steve Fitch is among America’s most well-known chroniclers of the American West since the days of Easy Rider. He has been photographing examples of the West’s changing vernacular landscape and vanishing roadside landmarks for more than 40 years. In his new book, he presents both the ancient and the modern by way of petroglyphs, neon motel signs and hand-painted business signs, drive-in movie theater screens, and radio and cell towers. All of them are now endangered because of the advent of the Interstate Highway System and corporate franchises.

In this fascinating and comprehensive account, we are able to join in Fitch’s expansive journey, truly an odyssey, as represented in the book’s 120 unforgettable photographs, all sequenced to mimic the open road—both during day and night. Fitch explains the project in his informative introduction, in which, interestingly, he suggests that the petroglyphs of the ancient Pueblo people have endured far better and longer than anything made during the last sixty years. Curator Toby Jurovics, in his insightful concluding essay, positions Fitch’s work in relation to that of the practitioners of the photographic style known as the “New Topographics” and Fitch’s own view of photography as a visual form of cultural anthropology.
Vanishing Vernacular: Western Landmarks is sure to become a modern-day classic, a book that will be all the more revered as America and Americans move farther away from the highways of the past. That economy and roadside culture are vanishing like endangered species, but Fitch was along for the ride. In sharing that past, he has been witness to his own form of historic preservation.


Limited Edition of 60 copies. Contains a signed first edition, second printing of the book and one of three signed and numbered archival pigment prints, each printed in an edition of 20.

Image size is 8x10' on 8½x11' Canson Platine Fibre Rag paper from digitial files prepared from the original 8x10 color film negatives and printed by the artist himself. Prints are in a protective sleeve and inserted into signed Trade Edition copies of the book.

Limited Edition A: Starlite Motel, Mesa, Arizona, December 28, 1980

Limited Edition B: Blue Swallow Motel, Hwy. 66, Tucumcari, New Mexico; July, 1990. 

Limited Edition C: Motel, Raton, New Mexico; 1980


Cat# ZH501H Hardbound [Signed] $48.00 (978-1938086601)
In Stock! Usually ships in 1 business day.

Cat# ZH501L Limited Edition [A] $350.00 (978-1938086601)
In Stock! Usually ships in 1 business day.

Cat# ZH501L Limited Edition [C] $350.00 (978-1938086601)
In Stock! Usually ships in 1 business day.


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