close up image of a woman reading a book of Durham images called 'Transitions: The American Tobacco Factory' monochrome image of a man at a photo art gallery giving a talk

The ATC in B/W:

Through This Lens gallery in Downtown Durham is hosting a fantastic showing of The American Tobacco Factory: A Reformation of a Factory and a City Photographs by Michael Rosenberg.

Michael documented the abandoned American Tobacco Campus through renovation on large format (4×5″) film for over six years.

There’s so much to like in this show. The grungy factory, the photographer’s sense of design, but for many Durham residents, it’s the history and the stories the photos evoke. People were joking about what a nasty, eyesore shambles (and pink at that!) the old bull durham building was. And the deeper history of tobacco in the south, and the photos documenting the ‘white only’ door signs. Michael made an astute point of how the ‘colored’ door used a stencil… ready to be used over, and over again. A simple artifact like that, well documented has real impact.

Included in the book are also some before and after images as well. For someone new to Durham, like me, these are stories, and this show, are not to be missed.

Photos by HuthPhoto


Through This Lens Gallery

Downtown Durham NC

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