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Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, Upstairs Bar, Nashville, Tennessee
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© Jim Dow
Gift of Nancy and Bruce Berman

Jim Dow
American, Nashville, Tennessee, 1977
Chromogenic print
16 x 20 3/16 in.
98.XM.207.25

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The upstairs room at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge in Nashville, Tennessee, is a cluttered and collective expression of memories and dreams scratched into surfaces or fading in frames. Papered with headshots, bumper stickers, record albums, and posters, almost every surface--including the ceiling, a clock, a t-shirt, and some beer cans--is inscribed with messages. A "connoisseur of the vernacular," photographer Jim Dow seeks out rare places that manage to retain their regional flavor and originality while resisting mass cultural homogenization.