The Russian-born American poet and writer Joseph Brodsky once wrote, вЂњNo matter under what circumstances you leave it, home does not cease to be home. No matter how you lived thereвЂ”well or poorly.вЂќ
An exhibit of photographs at USU EasternвЂ™s Gallery East seeks to illustrate the dichotomies of persistence and change in Utah homes over time.
Photographer George Edward Anderson traveled throughout central Utah during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During his travels he shot portraits of families outside their homes and also took general вЂњenvironmental portraits.вЂќ Architectural Historian Peter Goss has returned to many of those places and rephotographed them. His exhibit of both the original and contemporary photographs in central Utah (Utah, Sanpete, and Emery Counties) provides a look at change and continuity over the last century.
The exhibit is based on researching the extensive collection of George Edward Anderson negatives in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections at BYU. Once the existing sites were identified, they were rephotographed using a large format (5вЂќ X 7вЂќ) wooden filed camera, not unlike the type of camera used by Anderson.
The concept of rephotography,вЂќ Goss explains, вЂњis an accepted practice among documentary photographers and usually results in pairs of photographs (original and contemporary). These pairs may be considered from a number of viewpoints such as the effects of time and change.вЂќ The exhibit features 16 pairs of pairs of photographs—each showing a contact print of AndersonвЂ™s negative and a contact print of GossвЂ™s rephotograph on the right. вЂњ
According to Goss, AndersonвЂ™s photographs illustrate various stages in the lives of individuals, couples and families on the streets, in their places of business, and in their homes and apartments. вЂњAs an architectural historian and documentary photographer, I find AndersonвЂ™s вЂenvironmental portraitsвЂ™ important architecturally and culturally and, as seen in this exhibition, some examples appear to be little changed, while others have received varying degrees of modification to suit different fashions and lifestyles over the intervening 90-100 years.вЂќ
GossвЂ™s rephotography project was financially supported by a creative research grant from the University of UtahвЂ™s Research Committee and the Utah Humanities CouncilвЂ™s Delmont Oswald Research Fellowship. This exhibit is partially supported with monies from the Utah Arts CouncilвЂ™s Grant Program.
Peter L. Goss is professor emeritus of architectural history at the College of Architecture & Planning, University of Utah and has written on nineteenth and twentieth century American architecture. In addition to photodocumenting the historic architecture of the intermountain West, Goss enjoys photographing the range sheep industry of the same region.
The exhibit entitled The Rephotography of George Edward AndersonвЂ™s Environmental Portraits, will be on display at USU EasternвЂ™s Gallery East from September 6 through October 6, 2011.В Peter Goss will be on hand during an opening reception on Friday, September 9, from 7:00 to 9:00. Students, faculty, and visitors are welcome to attend.
Gallery East is open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 to 5:00 P.M. The gallery is closed Fridays, weekends, and holidays. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the gallery at: 435-613-5327; or contact Noel Carmack at: 435-613-5241 or email@example.com