GLOUCESTER, MA.- The Cape Ann Museum
will present an exhibition of photographs from "White on White: Churches of Rural New England" published by The Monacelli Press with photographs by Steve Rosenthal, essay by Verlyn Klinkenborg, and afterword by Robert Campbell. The exhibition will be on view through January 31, 2010.
Rosenthal began photographing New England churches in the mid 1960s, and the photographs which appear in the exhibition and book are his personal selection taken over succeeding decades. These are the buildings which give New England towns and villages a unique sense of place and define, in many minds, the New England character.
These remarkable small-town, white country structures were erected by local builders, joiners, and occasionally by itinerant master carpenters. Their inspiration came from traditional designs and from pattern books. These photographs celebrate New England church architecture, with its sense of rightness of proportion, quality of craftsmanship, and commanding sitting.
This is also a preservation story. Several of these churches were inspiringly restored by their congregations to their original appearance long before the preservation movement took hold in this country. Many others are now threatened by shrinking congregations and high maintenance costs. Some have been damaged by insensitive additions or inappropriate materials. Others have been decommissioned and converted to other uses.
The photographs in the exhibition include images of evocative survivors in the New England landscape. They were taken on 4x5 film, scanned, and output digitally, and have been manipulated only to maximize the potential of the information contained in the original negative, not to remove content or alter context.
Steve Rosenthal is an architect who has specialized in architectural photography, primarily in the New England area, for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale University, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design where he studied architecture, and is a self-taught photographer. He is the recipient of Institute Honors from the American Institute of Architects, and the Architectural Photography Specialty Group Award from the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). He is currently not taking assignments in order to pursue his own personal photography.
Nationally recognized, Rosenthals work has appeared in all the major architectural publications in the US and abroad; he has many magazine and book covers to his credit and has jointly produced 5 childrens books on architecture.