Abandoned Coastal Forts: Darkness at Noon

“The compelling clarity with which a photograph recorded the trivial
suggested that the subject had never before been properly seen,
that it was in fact perhaps not trivial, but filled with undiscovered meaning.”

(John Szarkowski, The Photographer’s Eye, The Museum of Modern Art, 1964.)

I use photography to capture what I see, not what I imagine. Although my subject matter is ordinary, the images are often ambiguous, defying easy identification. I frequently employ abstraction in the classic sense by using part of a whole to represent something other than the thing itself. I’m attracted to places and things that have been used and abandoned. Time, weather and decay effortlessly produce compelling images - my job is to find them. I photograph signs of wear and tear, fatigue and neglect that are symbols of lives lived and stories untold.

I have recently been photographing Civil War era forts along the Northeast coast. These massive structures of stone and brick and earth are rich with textures, subtle colors and interesting interplays of light and dark. The aura of age and mystery hang heavily in the atmosphere, letting me imagine the stories that were or might have been before these forts were abandoned.

I compose in the camera’s viewfinder and use the computer like a traditional dark room to make adjustments of exposure, contrast and color balance in order to more closely approximate what the human eye can see. The photographs in this exhibit are archival inkjet prints with a protective invisible laminated finish that allows my work to be displayed without glass between the viewer and the image.


Laura Wolfe

Alan Strassman

Christy Stadelmaier

Ellen Toby Slotnick

Dianne Schaefer

Alice Shafer

Andrea Rosenthal

Linda Rogers

Richard Perry

Jane Paradise

Trelawney Goodell

Anne Diamond McNevin

Diane Davies

Nan Collins

Bob Avakian


Karen Davis

Course Assistant

Meg Birnbaum



Griffin Museum

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