One doesn’t take long in the Bluegrass to recognize so many scenes are picture perfect. That’s clearly what celebrated New York photographer Pieter Estersohn thought when he turned to the Lexington area as the subject of his new book, Kentucky: Historic Homes and Horse Farms of the Bluegrass Region.
There’s been something of a media blitz to promote the book, which provide interesting perspective on the beauty and culture of the Bluegrass from an outsider’s perspective. Sandy Keenan at The New York Times has a brief interview with Estersohn. We learn how the project sent Estersohn to the hospital, and what Bluegrass house Estersohn would like to call home. Keenan also asks him “why Kentucky?”:
For a guy who grew up in Manhattan, California and Paris, why did you pick Kentucky?
One of my oldest friends, Antony Beck, whose family is in the international business of both horses and wine, lives there with his wife and five children, at Gainesway Farm. He’s the godfather of my 10-year-old son, Elio. So we were always going there to visit, staying in the Norman-style guesthouse. As someone very passionate about history and architecture, I got to experience bluegrass country over time, and the pieces started to fall together. It seemed like a very underrepresented part of the country, which hadn’t been fully fleshed out in a dedicated way.
Keeneland Magazine‘s Debra Gibson Isaacs also features Estersohn in the Spring issue. She writes:
Masterful photography allow readers to see everything from the smallest details in silverware to the normally unseen panoramic views revealed through aerial photographs. In all, there are 150 color photographs. “This is a special and unique American region,” Estersohn said. “I love the history. I love that it was part of Virginia and was English. The whole history of how horse breeding and racing came to the region is fascinating as is the reference to Lexington being the ‘Athens of the West.'”
And don’t miss the Garden & Gun gallery of selected photographs from the book. Even for those of us who live in the Bluegrass, Estersohn opens the door to places that most of us are never able to see.