As the nation’s most culturally distinct region, the American South has long been a magnet for artistic exploration and documentation. Many artists have chosen the medium of photography as a vehicle to convey their unique impressions and experiences of the region, because of the camera’s ability to so vividly record reality. Frozen in Place: Southern Photographs from the Collection presents over 50 photographs selected from the Museum’s permanent collection that underscore a variety of aspects of the region, and tell compelling stories about its unique people, places and traditions. Many were added to the collection in the 1980s and early 1990s, through a series of original exhibitions curated by local photographic archivist and historian Frances Robb, wife of former museum director David Robb.
Within its collection, the Museum is fortunate to have large holdings of photographs by critically acclaimed artists like William Christenberry, Chip Cooper, John Reese, and Kathryn Tucker Windham. Each artist presents a unique take on the people, places and traditions of the South. Other exhibition highlights include Pinky Bass’ evocative self-portrait taken with a simple pinhole camera; Jame Morris’ image of rampant kudzu engulfing everything in its path; and three different takes on traditional African-American river baptisms by John Reese, Kathryn Tucker Windham and Caroline Davis. These and other works in Frozen in Place covey a multi-faceted vision of the place we call home.