“It is the best Charleston photographic essay ever – and ever will be.”
Mayor Joseph P. Riley , Jr.
“The mastery of this enchanting book of Charleston photography is apparent on its astonishing cover: the low-sun sky in the background, yet no silhouettes or diminished colors in the line of sight. I opened it at random—to the pages that display, on the left, the undulating line of street bricks in the sunlight, and on the right, those wonderfully yearning tree-limbs that stretch toward one another seemingly across the Basin and nearly meet at the horizon. From there, I relished this compelling and intimate tour of Jack Alterman’s treasured city: the light and shadow playing on all those cornices and filigrees and tiles and arches and shutters; the city’s voluptuous colors, prominent but never garishly over-played; the sense of stately loneliness in those dusky buildings made luminous by a light within; the found geometries in the photo, “The Cove—Sullivan Island,” the startling Giacometti-like St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, that glorious double-page spill of magnolia blossoms . . . and always the city, the city either in the frame or at the edges, beckoning and seducing. And not a human being in sight! (Well, a tiny one beside the bus on the cover.) This is the city’s portrait, and its people will have to wait their turn! This is a luminous gift—to Charleston and to a world fending off darkness and hungering for redemptive city-light and city-color.”
Ron Powers, Pulitzer prize winning author of “Flags of our Fathers”
“I did not expect the astonishment I felt when I first opened “My City Charleston.” I am not particularly sensitive to graphic art, but I was gripped by the four-dimensional beauty of Jack Alterman’s production. I say “four dimensional,” because in addition to the startling cubic character of the photos, they seem to be alive in their own time frame, and the viewer is drawn into the time of those lovely antique buildings and gardens. The colors are as vivid and brilliant as the imagery, and the album itself is one that you will not go through once and then set aside — you will return to enjoy it again and again. Alterman is not a photographer, but a true genius of photographic art. I can only compare the impression this album made on me to my first contact with the great Mexican artists, Rivera, Orozco, et al. They broke through my usual insensitivity to graphic art, and opened a whole new chamber in my imagination.”
I gave my 92 year old Aunt, who grew up in Charleston, this book. Here is her response.
“Thank you so very much for the beautiful book! Jack Alterman has certainly captured the beauty and character of Charleston. I am looking at the photo of Colonial Lake all the way to the Ravenel Bridge – note the number of piazzas (porches) on the houses in the picture. Colonial Lake was a popular hangout for young people back in the “”’old days”. The Avenue of Oaks at Dixie Plantation – wonderful! The four pillars (all that’s left of the old Charleston Museum – destroyed in a fire so many years ago.) The public library was in a small space of the building, on a side street , and Dee Dee used to take me there when I was a young girl. And,of course, the Morris Island Lighthouse, still standing guard – a silent reminder of historic events. I love this book!”