Gone: A Photographic Plea for Preservation

Gone: A Photographic Plea for Preservation

It’s impossible to overlook the irony one sees when looking upon the decay and ruin of a once grand Southern mansion, especially for those of us who grew up in the South. I’m at once haunted and irresistibly drawn to these ghostly vestiges — fading shadows of a former grandeur built upon the backs of slave labor.

Photographer and architect Nell Dickerson documents just such homes in her new book, Gone: A Photographic Plea for Preservation.

“ … my mission is to draw attention not only to the architectural heritage devastated by the war but also the heritage we’ve lost since then: to neglect, to poverty, and to shame, as the war’s infamy colored the attitudes of later generations and tainted the homes those generations inherited,” says Dickerson. “What the war didn’t take, time and apathy did. And yet those grand old homes whether mansion or cabin deserve our reverence and protection.”

(See my post “The House on Literary Hill”)

Shelby Foote’s short story “Pillar of Fire” accompanies Dickerson’s stirring images of crumbling, lifeless antebellum homes, as well as other culturally significant structures. Foote, a renowned Civil War historian and novelist, is Dickerson’s cousin-in-law.

To learn more about “Gone,” visit Dickerson’s blog.

Or read a “Garden and Gun” piece about the book at: http://gardenandgun.com/newsletter/fallen-homes-civil-war-tos

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