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Artist Tells Story of Vanishing Landscapes Through Photographs at the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum - PPA Today

Artist Tells Story of Vanishing Landscapes Through Photographs at the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum


Panoramic views of forgotten rural landscapes can be seen in the newest exhibit at the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum. “Photography by Maxwell MacKenzie” will be on display July 14 through October 14 in the IPHF Main Gallery.

Evertstownshipschoolhousesummer19_2 On July 28 at 6 p.m., the IPHF will host an opening reception and “Markings” book signing for “Photography By Maxwell MacKenzie” with the artist as the special guest. The reception is free and open to the public.

“To me, this landscape and these buildings — sad, empty, silent houses and falling-down barns — possess a profound beauty, not merely for their spare, simple designs and weathered boards but as monuments to the men and women who, like my own ancestors, made long journeys and endured great hardships to reach this remote part of America and build in it a new home,” MacKenzie said.

MacKenzie’s exhibit features 27 images from four collections, several of which are published in three books: “Abandonings,” “American Ruins: Ghosts on the Landscape,” and “Markings.” The fourth collection is MacKenzie’s study of tobacco barns of the southern states, which are being demolished to make room for residential and commercial development.

The panoramic views of MacKenzie’s “Abandonings” series feature technically brilliant color prints of Minnesota’s Otter Tail County and its quiet landscape. Lying on the edge of the Great Plains, Otter Tail County holds personal significance for MacKenzie as the place he was born and where his ancestors settled. “Abandonings” was created in 1995 through a desire to document the land and shelters that early immigrants struggled to build before the landscape is gone.

MacKenzie next created a series of black and white panoramic images in “American Ruins,” three of which will be on display in the IPHF exhibition. “American Ruins” spans four years and six states to record the abandoned schools, barns and farmhouses of the western frontier.

Almost half of MacKenzie’s exhibition presents his images of tobacco barns, spanning the eastern seaboard from Connecticut to North Carolina and as far west as Kentucky. The tobacco collection varies from the haunting black and white panoramas of Charles County, MD, to the color aerial shots overlooking lone barns.

The fourth and most unique collection of photography comes from MacKenzie’s newest book “Markings,” featuring aerial views shot from the artist’s powered parachute. MacKenzie revisits rural Minnesota to capture views from 30 to 1,000 feet in the air, creating geometric images reminiscent of abstract paintings. The artist trained himself to fly his ultralight glider with no hands so he could use his Nikon F-5 35mm camera to capture the shapes and shadows below.

The artist’s commercial work is featured on thousands of Web sites and printed publications worldwide. His work has been exhibited across the nation and has been acclaimed for its excellence, precise and balanced composition, and its artful sensitivity of form. For more information, visit

The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum is a private, non-profit 501c(3) corporation whose mission is to promote the awareness and education of the history of photography. Since 1983, the IPHF has made its home at the Omniplex, exhibiting its permanent collection of photographic prints and equipment, and features a variety of photographic subjects. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit

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