Background: Iceland
Porter's interest in Iceland was induced by his friend Paul Stein. During their 1971 trip to Turkey and Greece, while photographing lichens covering a Turkish temple, Stein mentioned that Iceland was known for its magnificent lichen species. Porter had studied lichen in his 1930s biomedical research and had become fascinated not only by its unusual composition (a symbiotic blending of algae and fungi) but by its myriad versions of color, shape, and texture. He had made a point of seeking it out and photographing it wherever he went. During a two-month drive around the north Atlantic island the following year, he not only photographed lichen but the land's broad and varied glaciers, waterfalls, basalt formations, lava flows, flowers, mosses, and even several of its deserted farmsteads. In 1989 Little Brown & Company published Iceland, presenting Porter's images introduced with a travelogue by the artist's son Jonathan. The collection holds 249 Iceland prints.

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