Photo of the Week: Cedric Chatterley's Portraits

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to view a remarkable exhibit of photographs made by Cedric Chatterley and the images have not left my mind.  A few of the photographs came from the Barbara Lau and Cedric Chatterley Collection (#20025), a phenomenal collection of interviews, photographs, and manuscript materials documenting the lives and culture of South East Asian immigrants to North Carolina. Lau and Chatterley’s collaborative ethnographic work with their consultants from the Cambodian communities in North Carolina resulted in an incredibly rich and informative body of materials and we are honored to be the repository.  Details on the exhibit, on view until June 29 at the Durham Public Library follow below.   Have a great weekend.

North Carolina at Work: Cedric Chatterley’s Portraits and Landscapes of Traditional Labor
An exhibition organized by the North Carolina Folklife Institute:
On display April 29 —June 29, 2012
Location: Durham County Main Library (300 N Roxboro)
Free and Open to the public
Chatterley’s photographs depict North Carolinians at work and the landscapes that surround them. At-work images in their lived environment evokes a strong sense of place that many North Carolinians feel, and visitors expect to experience. This exhibition will foster conversations about the relationship between work, the environment/place, identity, and community.
Drawn from the NCFI archives, these images spring from projects undertaken by the Folklife Institute and the Folklife Program of the North Carolina Arts Council.
This exhibit is curated by Liz Lindsey, with curatorial assistance by students in the “Mount a Real Documentary Photography Exhibit” continuing studies class course at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.  Co-sponsored by Durham County Library and the Center for Documentary Studies
Supported by the North Carolina Arts Council and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
The North Carolina Folklife Institute is also supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Its archive projects are supported in part by a grant from the Visual Resource Association Foundation.
“Mount a Real Documentary Photography Exhibit” continuing studies course at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, (April 7 —April 28, 2012)
Organized by the North Carolina Folklife Institute, supporting the People’s Arts since 1974 •

SFC Behind the Scenes: Tom Davenport revisits "A Singing Stream"

It has been a pleasure to have filmmaker and Folkstreams founder Tom Davenport working in the Southern Folklife Collection Ben Jones Film and Video Studio this week. Tom, along with the assistance of folklorist T. C. Owens, has been working through the original 16mm outtakes from the 1986 film, A Singing Stream. The entire documentary, which chronicles the lives of the Landis family of Granville, North Carolina, can be viewed at
With interviews and stories, and scenes from daily life, reunions, gospel concerts, and church services, the film traces the history of the Landis family, highlighting the role of traditional acapella gospel singing in their relationships with each other and their community.  Particularly featured are performances by her sons’ gospel quartet The Golden Echoes.
Tom is looking at the original footage to see what scenes might be incorporated into a new film, tentatively titled Son of Singing Stream. Judging from his work here over the past three days, we can’t wait to see the results.
For more information about Tom Davenport’s films and A Singing Stream, see the following collections in the SFC:

Photo of the week: Matokie Slaughter

The end of UNC’s school year came up on us extremely fast. We are sad to see our student assistants, upon whom we depend to keep the SFC machine running smooth, graduate and go on to other things. We can’t thank them enough. Recently, one of these intrepid employees digitized a great number of photographs from the Alice Gerrrard Collection (#20006). The image above, a beautiful portrait of legendary old time banjo player Matokie Worrell Slaughter, came from a set of 35mm slides.
Originally from Pulaski, Virginia, Matokie Slaughter performed with her family on local radio during the 1940s and became a regular at fiddler’s conventions. She is featured on a number of recordings, including a band she formed with her sister, Virgie Richardson, and Alice Gerrard called the Back Creek Buddies.
The SFC holde many recordings of Slaughter in the form commercial releases, like the excellent 1978 County LP, Clawhammer Banjo, vol. 3, and field recordings from the Alice Gerrard and Paul Brown collections. Check back for another photo tomorrow.