Edward Keating: MAIN STREET - The Lost Dream of Route 66

Edward Keating
The Lost Dream of Route 66

February 25 - April 27, 2019

Artist Reception and Book Signing
Thursday, March 7, 6pm-8pm


MAIN STRƎƎT is the result of 11 years of travels along Route 66 — the 2,400 mile stretch between Chicago and Santa Monica. Called the “Mother Road” in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, Route 66 has inspired countless artists and writers, including Andy Warhol and Jack Kerouac. Following the path of migrant farmers and others, Keating has ventured westward and back along Route 66, documenting the lives of Americans along the way.

Keating approaches the route as both a journalist and memoirist. His photographs bring attention to the lives and myths scattered along the stretch of Route 66, and serve as a metaphor for the deterioration of middle-class America. For New York Times journalist Charles LeDuff, “this book is about those who traveled its length and those who settled along the way, wherever their bones and their broken cars dropped them.”

This book is also personal mythology, constructed from the artist’s own recollections of the road: Keating's mother grew up in Saint Louis along Route 66 where her father owned the city’s first Ford dealership. In his early 20s, he embarked on a cross-country trip on Route 66, but found himself, rock-bottom, in a broken-down motel in Flagstaff, Arizona. In 2000, he returned to Route 66 as a New York Times staff photographer, traversing all 2,400 miles in three weeks. The book is a milestone for an artist who has spent a life wandering along the main streets and back roads of America’s most mythic highway.

Edward Keating has lived and worked as a photographer in New York City since 1981. Like previous generations of street photographers, he taught himself how to photograph by chronicling street life of everyday New Yorkers.

Ten Years later he was hired as a Staff Photographer at The New York Times where he covered both national and international news and was a regular contributor to the Sunday New York Times Magazine. In addition, he co-founded “Vows,” The New York Times wedding column. In 2002, Keating won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage on the attacks of 9/11. He has also been a regular contributor to Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, “W” Magazine and New York Magazine.

Edward Keating work resides in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City and The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida. In 2008, he has exhibited his collection “New York” alongside Robert Frank’s “The Americans” at the Pingyao International Photography Festival in China and his series about Route 66 was exhibited at Bursa Fotofest in Bursa, Turkey in 2011. His educational experience includes teaching at the International Center of Photography as well as The School of Visual Arts, NYC.