Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Larry Kanfer  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1956 St. Louis, Mo.

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Illinois Connection

Kanfer is an award winning photographer who operates a gallery in Champaign, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Larry Kanfer earned a degree in architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an award-winning photographic artist whose original artwork is available through his galleries in Champaign, Illinois and on his website. His original artwork is featured in public and private collections nationally.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Prairiescapes: PHOTOGRAPHS (Visions of Illinois)
ISBN: 0252014820

University of Illinois Press. 1987

Near fine, gray linen boards w silver font on spine, 101 numbered pps, 101 photos + listings of photographs herein. Dust jacket unclipped (although as typical for university publication, price not posted). 1st edition / 1st printing (number line C 5 4 3 2 1 ), SIGNED on loose FEP. Light sunning on hard cover book edge. Dust jacket shows minimal shelf wear, spine top crease (not tear) and now under mylar wraps. No writing, marks, etc. GIFT QUALITY. 0252014820 printed on copyright page - please note the pages in this book as noted here are correct. Oblong format.

On This Island
ISBN: 0670831751

Viking Adult. 1990

A collection of island photographs, including luminous beaches, sun drenched houses and the bright marshes of Shelter Island to the harbor at Oyster Bay

On Second Glance: Midwest Photographs (Visions of Illinois)
ISBN: 0252019687

University of Illinois Press. 1992

Without the evident drama of treacherous glaciers or mountain peaks, the midwestern landscape may - on first glance - appear commonplace. But those who look again will find an uncommon beauty as eloquent as that of the highest waterfall.
With this distinctive collection of photographs, Larry Kanfer uncovers anew the drama of the prairie's changing skies and seasons and celebrates the serene dignity of the Midwest. "Elsewhere there are physical changes," states Kanfer, "but here the changes are chronological. In my photographs I show time - seasonal change, the cycles of life. That's where the beauty lies."
As in his highly acclaimed earlier collection, Prairiescapes, Kanfer presents his own unmistakable vision of the vast heartland. Karla Vallance on National Public Radio described Prairiescapes as "capturing the uncelebrated fields and streams around the town where I grew up and turning the water of those ordinary places in mundane moments into the wine of art. His photographs are breathtaking in their amazing grace." Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post Book World said, "It may take a patient and discerning eye to find beauty in the flat landscape of the American prairie, but beauty is just what Larry Kanfer has found."
With On Second Glance, Kanfer points as well to the overlooked details of the heartland. From Flatville to Foosland, from Santa Claus to Montezuma, Kanfer creates a remarkable portrayal of the working farmland of Illinois and Indiana.
His photographs take on the seasonal splendors of sky and silo, of setting sun and rising grain.
A compelling collection by one of the Midwest's finest landscape photographers, On Second Glance makes an elegant gift for anyone with friends or memories in the heartland.

Postcards from the prairie: Photographic memories from the University of Illinois
ISBN: 0965220427

L. Kanfer Gallery. 1996

Book by Kanfer, Larry

On Firm Ground
ISBN: 0252075870

University of Illinois Press. 2008

To open On Firm Ground is to enter a deeply loved and meticulously observed country, a land generous with its gifts and unforgiving in its climate, a land that yields its beauty only to the patient observer. In the deep grain of plowed fields, the hypnotic grace of tall grasses, the texture of weathered barn wood, Larry Kanfer harvests all the subtlety of color and season and amplifies the quiet elegance of the region. In this exhilarating celebration of the prairie, Kanfer brings the understated and unexpected beauty of the Midwest to the fore. In the clean lines of field and horizon, in the vast expanse of a threatening or brilliantly clear sky, in the pinpoint of light from a farmhouse window that fends off the darkness pressing in on all sides, Kanfer's images capture the living, breathing exchange of human and natural energies that animates the heartland.

Barns of Illinois
ISBN: 0252032748

University of Illinois Press. 2009

As a state abounding with broad farmlands, Illinois has depended heavily on its barns. At once imposing and humble, the barns of Illinois are much more than simply a place to store equipment and livestock. As gathering places for friends and family, they have become focal points of local communities, an enduring link between the present day and the traditions of the past. With these iconic structures as our guideposts, we find our way across the open landscape of the geography and history of the Midwest.

In this magnificent new collection, renowned photographer Larry Kanfer documents the diversity of barns throughout the Prairie State, from weathered, abandoned shelters in the countryside to proudly well-preserved landmarks featured in barn tours and even Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. Kanfer presents barns from every angle, inside and out, from a distance and up close, to capture the many reasons why they fascinate, inspire, and reassure.

With engaging prose, Alaina Kanfer recounts the histories of many of the barns featured, revealing each barn's unique character and tracing its distinctive imprint on the land and on people's lives. While many of the buildings continue to function within family farms for storage and shelter, others have been rescued and restored and put to a wide array of new uses, such as schools and gymnasiums in Kane and Effingham Counties, an animal rescue organization in McLean County, a winery in St. Clair County, and workshops in Sangamon and Union Counties.

With more than one hundred full color photographs of dozens of barns from across the state, Barns of Illinois presents these proud emblems of the heartland as never before--a unique chronicle of a state and its evolving way of life.

Illini Loyalty: The University of Illinois
ISBN: 0252035003

University of Illinois Press. 2011

Acclaimed Prairiescapes photographer Larry Kanfer presents his alma mater in his newest book as only he can. Through the eyes of an artist attuned to the details of place and space, Kanfer reveals the familiar vistas and landmarks that make the University of Illinois a special place for tens of thousands of students and alumni each year.
A proud graduate of the University of Illinois himself, Kanfer shows the Urbana-Champaign campus from the North Quad to the South Farms, capturing campus events, iconic buildings, and architectural details from inside and outside. Crowds roar as they cheer on the Fighting Illini in Memorial Stadium and Assembly Hall, and undergrads share a quiet moment between classes at the Illini Union. Kanfer's images convey the character of the school throughout the seasons, from the bloom of spring to winter's blanketing snows. The images illustrate the splendor of the university's academic buildings and the grandeur of its libraries, its intimate corners and vaulted lecture halls, its museums and residence halls.
Accompanying text by Alaina Kanfer guides readers through the campus scenes, providing the history and lore of landmarks such as Lorado Taft's Alma Mater sculpture, the venerable Morrow Plots, the Altgeld Hall bell tower, and more than a century's worth of class gifts that embellish the campus landscape. The Kanfers also commemorate notable people in the university's history, highlight newer additions to the campus such as the Siebel Center for Computer Science and the ACES Library, and celebrate long-standing traditions including Homecoming, Illini sports, graduation, and Quad Day.
A must-have for students, graduates, parents, and fans, Illini Loyalty memorably conveys the University of Illinois' spirit of education, innovation, and pride, and every page is infused with Larry Kanfer's fierce devotion to the Urbana-Champaign campus.

ISBN: 0252034996

University of Illinois Press. 2014

Opening Chicagoscapes places the reader amid the breathtaking grandeur and warm humanity of one of the world's great cities, a metropolis both lavish with its pleasures and as hard as weathered steel, a prairie-bound Oz that demands commitment from those seeking its truths.

Larry Kanfer and native Chicagoan Alaina Kanfer have captured authentic moments that invite the viewer into pocket universes achieved in collaboration between an acclaimed photographic artist and the living world. From the deep blues of Lake Michigan to imposing winter cityscapes, from awe-inspiring skyscrapers to corner hot dog joints, and from the lakefront chess obsessives to Maxwell Street's indefatigable vendors, Larry Kanfer brings the mesmerizing sensibility acclaimed in his collections Prairiescapes and On Firm Ground to illuminate the subtleties of mood and forces of nature that make Chicago a city unlike any other.

A Prairie State of Mind
ISBN: 0252040333

University of Illinois Press. 2016

Celebrating the American heartland as only Larry Kanfer can, A Prairie State of Mind takes readers over fields fertile and fallow and through the eternal cycle of the seasons. Walk roads melodic with birdsong and the chatter of cicadas. Look onto hillsides plowed into geometric perfection while breathtaking thunderheads boil overhead. Experience barn textures and rusted sheds pulled from the past and wind turbines signaling the future. Selected from Kanfer's new collection, A Prairie State of Mind takes readers into a landscape of serene beauty and startling contrasts. His perspectives, landscapes, and details embrace the Midwest, confirming that throughout the day and across time, the prairie connects us all.

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