This week’s passing of William Christenberry made me think about places that have become totems to photographers — places to visit and revisit, photograph and re-photograph, over time.
Christenberry’s relationship with this green warehouse in Newbern, Alabama was as much about the artist as it was about the building, and it was fascinating to see how many photographers were posting their own version(s) of the barn in the days following Christenberry’s passing.
I made my own stop, in 2005, while on the way to visit Auburn University’s Rural Studio, and to see some of the architectural wonders students have created for the community of Hale County.
Here’s a selection of photographers who’ve made their own visits. It makes one wonder; what other place on the map is rephotographed with such frequency and attention by fans and photographers? Ansel’s view from Glacier Point, perhaps?
What made Christenberry’s effort so fascinating was that his decades-long obsession wasn’t strictly photographic — sculptures and paintings of the green barn came into play.
— MDM, for ACP, 20161201