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Red Building in Forest, Hale County, Alabama
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© William Christenberry
Gift of Nancy and Bruce Berman

William Christenberry
American, Hale County, Alabama, 1994
Chromogenic print
17 1/2 x 22 in.
99.XM.65.2

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William Christenberry began photographing this makeshift wooden structure in his native Alabama in 1974. Since that time, he has made nearly annual trips to document the facade of this isolated dwelling, located deep in the Talladega National Forest. Such vernacular structures were uncommon photographic subjects until Walker Evans, Ed Ruscha, William Eggleston, and other twentieth-century photographers elevated their stature. Like the edifices photographed by Eugène Atget, Bernd and HIlla Becher, and others, the buildings Christenberry recorded in the southern United States were often in disrepair and in danger of disappearing altogether.