Swinging Seventies Offices Captured in Susan Ressler’s First Book

Author, educator and social documentary photographer Susan Ressler has spent the past 40 years documenting affluence in America, with a particular emphasis on the dynamics within corporate and consumer cultures.

This spring, the Taos, New Mexico–based talent will parlay her portfolio into her first book. Executive Order: Images of 1970s Corporate America features a vast array of images—boardrooms, offices, lobbies—that offer a nostalgic-if-anachronistic glimpse into the era’s workplaces, when desktops were more likely to hold ashtrays than computers.

Vidal Sassoon Headquarters, Los Angeles (1979-1980). Photography by Susan Ressler.

“These photographs critique the underlying social structures with irony, empathy and insight,” says Ressler. “They show us that although fortunes may rise and fall, the systems of power and privilege are still firmly fixed in place.”

Accompanied by an essay from Mark Rice, professor of American studies at St. John Fisher College, the release comes from Daylight Books, a nonprofit group dedicated to revitalizing the relationship between art, photography, and the world at large through publishing.

The Capital Group, Los Angeles (1979-1980). Photography by Susan Ressler.

Ressler’s book is among new spring titles that Daylight will preview at a pre-launch party April 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Bronx Documentary Center. Book signings will follow at Daylight’s booth during the International Photography Art Dealers show, running April 5-8 at Pier 94 on Manhattan’s West Side.

Atlantic Richfield, Los Angeles (1979-1980). Photography by Susan Ressler.
Filmways, Los Angeles (1979). Photography by Susan Ressler.
Treed, Denver (1978). Photography by Susan Ressler.
Cohen and Ziskin, Century City, California (1979). Photography by Susan Ressler.
A&M Records, Hollywood, California (1979-1980). Photography by Susan Ressler.
System Development Corporation, Santa Monica, California (1979-1980). Photography by Susan Ressler.
Reflection, Denver (1978). Photography by Susan Ressler.
Lang Blonde. Photography by Susan Ressler.

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