The University of Wisconsin Press

Photography / Wisconsin / Travel / Environment


Along the Wisconsin Riverway
Jill Metcoff

A North Coast Book

An evocative photographic journey

The Lower Wisconsin River is one of the last long stretches of undammed waterway in the Midwest. This exquisite photo essay reveals the timelessness of the river and the land along its banks—primeval sloughs, towering bluffs with their sandstone terraces, wetlands awash in spring floods, and low prairies so rich and varied that they yield both cactus and cattails.

Jill Metcoff has spent some twenty years photographing the ninety-three miles of the lower river from Prairie du Sac to the Mississippi with antique large- and medium-format cameras. These 104 photographs, lavishly printed and evocatively capturing the landscape in shades of black and white, are in the tradition of Eliot Porter and H. H. Bennett. They are accompanied throughout the book by "voices" of the region, including Aldo Leopold, August Derleth, John Muir, Frederick Jackson Turner, and Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as contemporary voices from public hearings on the future of the Lower Wisconsin riverway.

This landscape—eons old and left untouched by the glaciers that ground much of Wisconsin's ancient landforms into gravel—has escaped major development despite its location within 200 miles of more than twenty million people. But all that could change tomorrow. Metcoff's work is a passionate appeal to view and value the riverway in all its variety and grandeur.

Jill Metcoff is a professional photographer specializing in the rural landscape. Her work has been exhibited in the Wisconsin State Capitol rotunda, at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and at many galleries in the Midwest and has appeared in Wisconsin Trails magazine. She and her family divide their time between a home in Chicago, Illinois, and their hand-built cabin near the Wisconsin River between Spring Green and Sauk City, Wisconsin.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

cover of Metcoff's book is a black and white photo of the Wisconsin River from the air

December 1997

184 pp.    9 1/2 x 9 1/2
104 duotone photos

Book icon
Cloth $35.00 t
Shopping cart ADD TO CART


Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.

Updated 3/27/2014

© 2010, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System