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Tradition — Tennessee Lives and Legacies


Includes Shipping and Handling

Tradition — Tennessee Lives and Legacies is a photography book and companion exhibit highlighting the state's folk heritage through 25 profiles of folk arts subjects across Tennessee who preserve arts and culture distinctive to their families, communities, or places. The inspiration for the project draws on 25 years of field work experience by Dr. Robert Cogswell, Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission Folklife Program. Nashville photographer Dean Dixon was contracted to provide images that compliment Cogwell’s expressive essays. He traveled across the state over a period of a year and a half and photographing the subjects in their homes and communities and has provided stunning images for both the book and exhibit.

The project testifies to the strength and diversity of Tennessee’s grassroots cultural life, and to the importance of everyday people who continue to sustain its art forms and practices through their mastery and dedication. The subjects—most individuals, but a few pairs and trios of people—represent different parts of Tennessee, different ethnicities, and different cultural specialties—from music and crafts to cooking and marble-playing. Dixon’s photography captures the personalities of these interesting and mostly unsung people in settings significant to them. Accompanying text provides details on their art and life stories. The portraiture of Tradition speaks to the reality, dignity, and vibrancy of Tennessee folklife in ways not often represented in our institutional culture or mainstream arts circles.