Philadelphia has thousands of public artworks—more than any other city in America. Ed Hille has 40 years of experience as an award-winning photographer. In Plain Sight brings the two together—the dedicated artist and a spectacular subject.
Throughout the city—in business districts, industrial zones, residential neighborhoods—eye-catching sculptures and murals form a backdrop to Philadelphians’ everyday pursuits. In the words of the Association for Public Art, the city offers “art for everyone, anytime,” and people experience it in a multitude of ways. To reflect this integration of art and life, Ed Hille’s photographs capture the artworks not as isolated pieces, but in the midst of human interaction. “Life,” he writes, “simply moves around them.”
For 18 months, Hille journeyed around the city, day and night, shooting and reshooting to gather his striking images. In these pages he presents the collection simply, with small captions, allowing the photographs to speak for themselves. Then, at the back of the book, he offers a description of each artwork and details about the photography.
Those who know Philadelphia will appreciate seeing favorite landmarks in a new light. For those unfamiliar with the city, the book offers a glimpse of a place where “the extraordinary has become an ordinary part of life.”
Praise For In Plain Sight
“Ed Hille’s exquisite eye for line and form turn pictures of simple, everyday life into brilliant works of art.”
—Marsha Ivins, Astronaut (ret.)
“Ed Hille has an unerring eye. He sees the stark beauty in everyday life and brings it into sharp relief. His photographs are stunning in their originality and their ability to surprise. There is an adventure in every image.”
—David Zucchino, Prize–Winning Reporter and Contributing Writer for the New York Times
“Ed Hille’s photos capture the way everyday people interact with public works of art in a way that elevates both. There is a lovely dance at play here that feels like a love letter to Philly.”
— Pamela L. Connelly, Fine Art Photographer and Educator
“Ed Hille’s photographs from In Plain Sight are filled with keen vision and wit. He treats the interplay of civic spaces, public art and human interaction with balance, appreciation and cleverness. The complex compositions encourage your eyes to dance around the frame, treasuring details discovered and moments observed.”
— David Butow, Photojournalist
“Ed Hille has been perfecting his craft of seeing and visually reporting for over 40 years. Please view and enjoy the juxtaposition of art and people in his images from the streets and boulevards of Philadelphia.”
—John Paul Filo, Pulitzer Prize–Winning Photographer
About the Author
In more than four decades as a photojournalist, Ed Hille crisscrossed America and the globe, capturing images on five continents. His major assignments included political conventions, the World Series, the Grand Prix in Monaco, the Kentucky Derby and the Winter Olympics. He documented political and social instability in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Sudan and Liberia, the struggle for independence in Namibia, the first free elections in Haiti, and the lifting of the iron curtain in Romania. He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and has received accolades from numerous local, state, national and international organizations.
As a staff photographer at The Philadelphia Inquirer, he had a front-row seat for life in the city. And as he traveled about, he developed a strong appreciation for the city’s vast collection of public art. When he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, this book became a priority for him—to help people see new angles of the city and appreciate the art that surrounds them.