This series of photographs is of historic buildings that were constructed in the South between the early 19th and early 20th centuries. All were rural and vernacular and were designed to meet particular needs. Each building, set clearly in place and time, provides a signature of its moment in the life of its community.
Shaker Waterworks, Kentucky © Don Norris
This architecture continues to assert the forthrightness and insistence on the genuine that stamped America before the Civil War. Today these buildings, obviously not of our time, are seen as singular structures with unusual authority and dignity.
At the heart of this wide-ranging collection are rural meetinghouses, each an affirmation of early 19th-century Protestantism in the American South. The series also includes slave quarters, cottonseed houses, professional offices, and a variety of other structures. Viewed together, these buildings join in an elegant visual fugue.