Photographs from the Field: 30 Years of the Folklife Program

By Dana Everts-Boehm, Folklife Program Assistant —

Cogswell Photography ShowAs Folklife Program Assistant, I have had the great privilege of working with Dr. Robert Cogswell to promote and preserve Tennessee’s rich folk culture. Dr. Cogswell’s dedication to Tennessee’s folklife traditions is clearly evident in TAC’s current exhibition, Photographs from the Field: 30 Years of the Folklife Program. The exhibition will be on display from January 16 through March 27.

Drawn from a legacy of 22,000 of Roby’s photographs that he left when he retired this past December, the images represent a sampling of Tennessee’s tradition bearers from diverse ethnic and regional backgrounds, immersed in a wide range of artistic genres. The total collection of images was donated to the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) prior to Roby’s retirement. TSLA will preserve the collection while also making it accessible to researchers and the public. Archivist Christina Skinker digitized 4,000 of these images for database access at the Tennessee Arts Commission.

The TN Arts Commission invites you to join us in our gallery for a reception on January 22 from 3-5 p.m. celebrating Dr. Cogswell’s retirement and his tremendous contribution to the field of public folklore.