Have you ever wanted to turn back the clock and see what Madison County was like in the early 1900s? Well now’s your chance. On April 22, 2017, the first U.S. exhibit of rare photos taken by Cecil Sharp will be displayed at the Madison County Arts Center in Marshall, NC. The exhibit will run through May 31.
The photos document the travels and experiences of Sharp, a British song collector, as he trekked through the southern Appalachian Mountains between 1916-1918 interviewing local folk singers. His tour began in Hot Springs and then spread through the Western North Carolina Mountains and, eventually, up into Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
While Sharp – and his cohort, Maud Karpeles – were focused on collecting variations of English ballads, he also took pictures of his musical subjects’ familiar settings, as a remembrance or testament to their importance. “The strong desire to document and the personal nature of his relationship with the Appalachian people resulted in a set of powerful and introspective images for history to hold.”
Following the Madison County Art Center exhibit, the show will move to Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center for the summer, followed by Pine Mountain Settlement School in Harland, KY.
To learn more about the exhibit, click here.
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