Bath House Cultural Center
Through January 26, 2013
Five photographers, students of Carolyn Brown; set out in 2011 to document Dallas architecture with guidance from Preservation Dallas. So many grand buildings are disappearing as a result of the Dallas culture (new & shiny is preferred) that historic structures have little chance of surviving. The mission was not a clinical record but an artistic one.
The Bath House Cultural Center’s exhibit Vanishing Dallas is the result.
The photographers are Lyndall Dyer, Bob Johnson, Gary Skotnicki, Nelson Spencer, and Alan Whiteside. They come to this project with varied backgrounds in publishing, architecture, real estate, history, education, theology and art, as well as photography.
I wasn’t able to attend the reception to speak with the artists, but I do want to share my impression of one of the photographer’s work. As a photographer and artist myself that also loves to photograph well worn or forgotten buildings, I was especially drawn to the vision of Nelson H Spencer.
Nelson captured the moment in between the decay and hopeful rebirth of 4949 Swiss Avenue. Here he has captured the beauty of the bannister where many an elegant lady’s gloved hand caressed the wood headed down to a party. The next photo is the shattered glass of the coach house vandalized during the time it lay unoccupied. Nelson’s artist statement quotes Robert Frost.
“No memory of having starred
Makes up for later disregard
Or keeps the end from being hard”
With the recent purchase of 4949 Swiss Avenue by a new owner who wants to refurbish it to former glory, maybe the house and it’s history will survive.
Vanishing Dallas will run through January 26th.