Rites of Fall
High School Football in Texas
For four seasons, from 1975 through 1978, Winningham criss-crossed the state of Texas photographing high school. In 1979, the University of Texas Press published his photographs from this project as Rites of Fall: High School Football in Texas. The book, with text by Al Reinert and commentary by Don Meredith, is now regarded as a classic of American documentary photography.
John Szarkowski, then director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, wrote about Rites of Fall: “Those who think that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton and those who think that the twentieth century was lost there will find equal corroboration for their views in Geoff Winningham’s wonderful book about high school football in Texas. For the rest of us, the book shows that the truth is more complicated, more touching, and funnier.”